LEE COUNTY, Fla. (NBC News) – A new Change.org petition is seeking to rebrand Lee County in Florida to Bruce Lee County.
In an effort to “eradicate” racism in both Florida and across the country, a local arts organization is calling for the rebrand instead of a complete name change to minimize the costs, while still changing the narrative behind the county’s namesake.
In the petition, the group of artists said they chose Bruce Lee, to replace Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, as the county namesake because of his impact as a leading actor, martial artist and pop culture icon of his time.
Lee County was originally named in 1887 at the behest of prominent Fort Myers citizens and Confederate Capt. Francis Hendry. Hendry was a fan of the controversial general, who, over time, was transformed into a pillar of the South, despite being responsible for hundreds of thousands of American deaths during the Civil War. And at one point, Robert Lee’s family owned hundreds of enslaved people.