On Monday, city commissioners in Hollywood, Florida voted to rename three streets honoring Confederate generals, one of whom was a member to the Ku Klux Klan.
The vote came just one week after a protest at the Hollywood City Hall in which marchers urged city government to rename the streets ― which take their name from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. John Bell Hood, and Confederate general and KKK grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest ― that run through a predominantly black neighborhood.
The Sun Sentinel reports that ― if the commissioners vote again to finalize the decision on August 30 ― Lee Street will become Louisville Street, Hood will become Macon and Forrest will be renamed as Savannah.
The decision mirrors a number of similar nationwide efforts to get rid of Confederate statues, street signs and other monuments, including a July 4th gathering by Black Lives Matter activists in San Antonio’s Travis Park to urge city officials to remove its statue of an unknown Confederate soldier.
In late May, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a poignant speech about the painful symbolism of Confederate remembrances.
“These statues are not just stone and metal,” Landrieu said as he spoke at New Orleans’ Gallier Hall. “They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement and the terror that it actually stood for.”
Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein aired a similar grievance at the Monday meeting.
“It is not right that an African-American mother has to tell her child she lives on a street named after someone that wanted them in chains or dead,” Finkelstein said to the room.
Hopefully, she’ll no longer have to.