Skip to comments.(Martin Luther) King street signs go up Monday after long fight
Posted on 03/05/2005 2:24:47 PM PST by Dan from Michigan
King street signs go up Monday after long fight
Saturday, March 05, 2005
By Jim Harger
The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS -- Fifth-grader Alan Davis looked over the red and white "Martin Luther King Blvd." sign Friday and saw more than a new street name.
"It means love and respect," the Campau Park Elementary student said. "It shows our community is the best, and we can show peace."
Starting Monday, the commemorative signs will become part of Division Avenue as it runs through the heart of Grand Rapids.
Robert S, the radio talk host who spearheaded the commemorative designation, said it is a fitting conclusion to Black History Month and a new beginning for a street with a reputation for prostitution and drug trafficking.
"When I look at Division, I see the kids on their way to Campau Elementary School," said Robert S, who dropped by the school, just off South Division, to show the new signs to kids. "I see them looking for a brighter future."
Robert S -- who changed his last name after repudiating "Stewart" as his stepfather's last name -- said he hopes the signs convey a message of peace and hope.
"I really want them to feel safe and understand that they are in a community that loves peace so much, that we picked a man of peace to honor on that street," the radio host said. "Martin Luther King's dream is still alive, and that message is peace and unity among all races and human beings."
At 3 p.m. Monday, Robert S said he hopes to stage a community celebration for the signs at Hall Street and Division.
Traffic Safety Director Pat Bush said the installations will begin at Coldbrook Street, Division's northernmost intersection. He expects his crews to finish by Friday at 28th Street on the city's southern border.
One set of signs, for the intersection at Franklin Street, will be saved for a special installation.
Robert S said he is organizing a final celebration June 19, or "Juneteenth," to mark completion of the job. Juneteenth is the observance of the Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery in the United States.
The sign installation marks the end of a 2 1/2-year fight over a street designation for King, the civil rights icon who was assassinated in 1968.
The struggle began when local black leaders asked city leaders to rename Franklin Street for King. After city commissioners rejected the request last year, Robert S, a host on WJNZ-AM (1140), championed the designation for Division and won their approval.
He and his supporters raised the $27,000 necessary to make and erect the signs.
Although the signs will not formally change the Division Avenue's name, the U.S. Postal Service official said it will deliver mail to "Division Avenue" or "Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd." -- as long as it designates whether the address is north or south of Fulton Street.
"The post office will have both of them in the system," said Mark Maciejewski, manager of customer service. "If a letter comes through to either address, they'll both get delivered. It shouldn't present any problem."
I caught Chris Rock's interesting and quite humorous remarks about MLK streets and boulevards last night on Comedy Central
As Minister Malcom pointed out forty years ago, find the "Abraham Lincoln School" (now MLK Boulevard) and you have found the ghetto.
mlk was a womanizer and a philander and the fbi thought he was Communist... it amazing how he holds onto any stature at all, or it it because of the dearth of any leadership that has come afterwords?
Obviously doesnt know what the FARK she is talking about
You are right about that... he would probably would not got shot if it had not been for his womanizing..
What did his womanising have to do with his murder?
"Robert S, the radio talk host who spearheaded the commemorative designation, said it is a fitting conclusion to Black History Month and a new beginning for a street with a reputation for prostitution and drug trafficking. "
Chris Rock: "If a friend calls you on the telephone and says they're lost on Martin Luther King Boulevard and they want to know what they should do, the best response is 'Run!"
Interracial diddling was frowned upon back then...
It's where you can buy crack or rent-a-ho.
The Reverend would NOT be proud.
Say goodnight, Gracie.
Yep I know but this is the first time I've heard this as a reason for his murder.
It also means it runs through the toughest part of town. Don't walk that street unarmed.
If you ever find youself on a MLK street, don't look left orr right, just keep driving.
Hello newbie. Stick around and don't be a name calling moron.
Insulting FreeRepublic since Mar 5, 2005
For some reason liberals name streets after MLK then stick all the housing projects on the same street. Why is that?
Frankly, the god like status that he has been raised to makes me sick. I remember the year that the NFL awarded the Super Bowl to Phoenix, then pulled it because the state of ARIZONA didn't have an MLK holiday. They did this even though the city of Phoenix did recognize his birthday as a holiday. They should have been sued for breaking a contract. The fact that schools make such a big deal out of his birthday and black history month shows how politically correct our nation has become. There is truly a double standard. A call for a white history month would be considered racist. A call for a Miss White America, a mention of a historically white college, an establishment of a United Caucasian College Fund, etc., would cause the proverbial poop to hit the fan. However, in reverse, it's OK. It makes me sick.