What would be better than a park full of metaphoric apple trees? Nothing. Which may be why residents of Dallas—the hometown of neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu—want to rename Oak Lawn Park, which until recently was named Robert E. Lee Park after the Confederate general, to honor the eccentric “On & On” singer.
The city’s government recently removed its statue of Lee in the same park after a 13-1 city council vote in favor of the monument’s eradication. Now, the council is looking to rename the park. Peter Freedman, co-founder of the Dallas-based publication Central Track, created a petition to encourage legislators to get the Badu dedication underway.
Aside from Badu’s magnetic energy and impeccable singing and songwriting skills, Freedman also cites Badu’s long-term residency in the city (Badu still lives there), philanthropy and mentorship of other Dallas creatives.
“Lord knows the renowned R&B singer deserves that distinction. Hell, they already named a whole day after her down in Houston, recognizing her many accomplishments and all that she’s done to inspire young artists around the state, and somehow beating Dallas to that punch,” Freedman wrote. “Naming a local park after her would go a long way toward making up for that misstep, for sure.”
The change.org petition has already garnered 2,422 of the 2,500 signatures needed before it’s handed over to the Dallas City Council.