An online petition to change the name of the former Bankhead Highway from Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway to Shawty Lo Parkway is quickly picking up traction.
Carlos “Shawty Lo” Walker, the Atlanta rapper known for the hit “Dey Know,” died Sept. 21 in a fiery crash on the I-285 southbound ramp to Cascade Road, Fulton County police said.
The Change.org petition, which started Wednesday, will be delivered to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed when it reaches a goal of 1,500 signatures.
The web push had 1,424 supporters as of 12:45 p.m. Friday.
Petition creator, Mecy Washington, said the rapper was “overly active” in his native Bankhead community and went by the nickname “King of Bankhead” or “K.O.B.”
“What better way to honor this extraordinary man then to rename the street in which he grew up on and a community that he never left behind even after his success,” Washington said in the Change.org petition.
The road is currently named after Hollowell, the late civil rights attorney who successfully sued the University of Georgia and made it possible for Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter to integrate the school.
He served as legal counsel and confidante to civil rights icons and other notable figures. And in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Hollowell as the regional director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, making him the first black regional director of a key federal agency, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Hollowell died in 2004.
Some supporters of the petition, including the managers of Shawty Lo’s official Twitter page, suggested calling it Carlos Walker Boulevard instead of Shawty Lo Parkway.
There has been an outpouring of support for the rapper since his death. Beyonce paid tribute to Shawty Lo during Monday’s encore of the Formation World Tour at the Georgia Dome. Hundreds attended a vigil in his honor. And on social media, celebrities and friends expressed their condolences.
Shawty Lo was a member of the Atlanta rap group D4L, who scored a hit with “Laffy Taffy.”
He made news in 2013 when the Oxygen television network announced plans for a special about his blended family, which includes 11 children with 10 women. After calls for a boycott and an online petition that garnered more than 37,700 signatures, the special entitled “All My Babies’ Mamas” was scrapped before it even aired.
Few new details about what caused the rapper’s death had been released as of Friday.
Fulton Medical Examiner office investigator Bertram Ennett said the manner of death was accidental. It was not immediately clear if alcohol was a factor in the crash.
After initially describing the crash as a hit-and-run, police later said it was a one-car accident.
“The driver, 40 year old Carlos Walker, lost control of his vehicle, a 2016 Audi, leaving the roadway and striking a tree, causing the vehicle to overturn and catch fire,” Fulton police spokeswoman Cpl. Maureen Smith said on the day of the fatal accident.
Shawty Lo was ejected from the Audi and pronounced dead on the scene, Smith said.
His funeral is planned for noon Saturday at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, 534 Fairburn Road. It will be open to the public.
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