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AP: ‘Urban Streets Named For MLK Still Struggle’

Here is quite an admission from the Associated Press:

Urban streets named for MLK still struggle

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER | January 19, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A walk down the 6-mile city street named for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. yields plenty of images that would surely unsettle the civil rights leader: shuttered storefronts, open-air drug markets and a glut of pawn shops, quickie check-cashing providers and liquor stores.

Would the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. even be able to walk down most of these streets without being attacked? We suspect not.

The urban decay along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in St. Louis can be found in other major American cities, from Houston and Milwaukee to the nation’s capital.

"It’s a national problem," said Melvin White, a 46-year-old postal worker in St. Louis and founder of a 3-year-old nonprofit group that is trying to restore King’s legacy on asphalt. "Dr. King would be turning over in his grave."

Nearly three decades into the observance of Monday’s federal holiday, the continuing decline of the most visible symbols of King’s work has White and others calling for a renewed commitment to the more than 900 streets nationwide named in the Atlanta native’s honor. The effort centers in St. Louis, where the small nonprofit is working to reclaim MLK roadways as a source of pride and inspiration, not disappointment over a dream derailed.

White’s goals are ambitious, his resources admittedly modest. A neighborhood park is planned across the street from the group’s headquarters. An urban agriculture project to encourage residents to eat healthy and grow their own food has preliminary support from nearby Washington University, one of the country’s wealthiest private colleges. Above all, Beloved Streets of America wants to build community from the ashes of what was once a thriving retail corridor when White was a child…

So their solution is a neighborhood park and a "urban agriculture project to encourage residents to eat healthy and grow their own food"?

Journalist Jonathan Tilove, who wrote a 2003 book based on visits to 650 King streets nationwide, called the King byways "black America’s Main Street."

"Map them and you map a nation within a nation, a place where white America seldom goes and black America can be itself," he wrote. "It is a parallel universe with a different center of gravity and distinctive sensibilities. … There is no other street like it." …

What a racist thing to say.

More than 50 years after King led his march on Washington, communities large and small still debate whether to rename local streets in his honor. In Harrisonburg, Va., city leaders recently agreed to rename a street for King over protests by some residents. A similar debate continues in High Point, N.C., where a King street proposal first suggested two decades ago remains up in the air…

Chicago’s Martin Luther King Drive, a major thoroughfare spanning roughly a dozen miles south of downtown, is anchored by important hubs of black life in the city. The street features grassy boulevards with stately greystones, while other segments touch rougher patches that have fallen into disrepair, including a dilapidated motel that drew community protests over crime. Gentrification is taking hold along some parts…

Probably over the objection of local black activists. Because ‘gentrification is such a problem in Chicago these days.

In Miami, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard stretches from the predominantly Cuban town of Hialeah through largely black Liberty City and into Little Haiti — a reflection of both the city’s diverse demographics as well as its lingering segregation…

At Miami Edison High School on the border of Liberty City and Little Haiti, 17-year-old Judith Etienne said King would be disappointed in his unfulfilled dream.

"I’m sure Martin Luther King didn’t have this in his dream," she said. "There’s a lot of kids dying of gang violence in this community." …

The hell you say. But notice how the AP buries this detail at the bottom of their piece.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 20th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “AP: ‘Urban Streets Named For MLK Still Struggle’”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    “There’s one!”
    “Get him!”
    (beat, beat, stab, stab, cries for mercy)
    “Oh, shiat. We just robbed MLK!”
    “Who dat?”
    “Somethin about fried chicken on this street I think ..”
    (sounds of pOlice sirens)
    “Gotta fly.”
    Man on ground moans, says, “But I paid with my life for you ..”
    The End

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “There’s a lot of kids dying of gang violence in this community.” …

    Coupled with:

    “Map them and you map a nation within a nation, a place where white America seldom goes and black America can be itself,”

    I have no questions

  3. yadayada says:

    a simple question will immediately derail mr. zagier’s intent –
    which came first, the street name or the neighborhood decay?

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