Ocoee High School senior pushes for renaming Bluford Avenue

OCOEE, Fla. — This weekend Julius “July” Perry’s name became a landmark in Ocoee.

Perry was lynched in 1920 after Black people tried to vote in the presidential election.

Rep. Geraldine Thompson and Sen. Randolph Bracy unveiled July Perry Boulevard, making Silver Star Road, Julius ‘July’ Perry Memorial Highway.

READ: Family descendants of Ocoee Massacre victims honored by community leaders

But the fight for change in Ocoee is not over. Rain Bellamy, a Ocoee High School senior, wants Bluford Avenue renamed.

There is a a lot that has to go into renaming a road, including public hearings. She believes now is the time.

“In the wake of George Floyd protests, I saw a lot of people in their towns were getting confederate monuments taken down,” Bellamy said. “What I realized, I was informed of the history of Bluford Sims and that he was a former confederate soldier and that he played in the Ocoee Massacre.”

READ: Ocoee Massacre: Who was Julius ‘July’ Perry?

She’s halfway to her goal of 3000 signatures on a petition in support of the change.

She hopes to get enough signatures to get it on the city election ballot in March.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.