Hollywood commissioners approve 3 names to replace Confederate street names

3 streets renamed Freedom, Hope, Liberty

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Hollywood commissioners voted 6 to 0 Wednesday to change the names of three streets named for Confederate generals after a contentious debate.

The Hollywood City Commission agreed to change the names of streets named for Robert E. Lee, Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Bell Hood to Freedom, Hope and Liberty.

Commissioner Peter Hernandez was the only commissioner to refuse to participate in the vote.

The renaming issue has been a contentious one for more than a year.

The commission decided to change the names in August after six hours of heated debate and heightened security for protesters on both sides of the issue.

Some residents and Confederate preservationists did not feel the change was necessary and thought it was inconvenient. Other residents and civil rights activists said it was the right thing to do. 

"I think it is time for the racist history in Hollywood to be acknowledged," Dara Hill said. "There is no reason for children growing up in Hollywood to have to look at street signs that were named after the Civil War, after a reconstruction period that includes a revisionist history."

"It was a witch hunt," Cynthia Baker, who opposed the street renamings, said. "It was really a witch hunt over dead people. The people are dead and, in all honesty, the people that should be heroes are the people that named the streets for both sides."

The streets were named 91 years ago, when the city was chartered.

More than 100 people signed up to speak for and against the change at a commission meeting last summer. One anti-change protester was arrested when police said he tried to fight a group of pro-change demonstrators.