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.
One does not have to be a bigot to know that Martin Luther King was a deeply flawed human being---and not necessarily worthy of a hagiography.
Exactly what part of what he said prompted you to call him a bigot?
-- Chris Rock
Actually, the MLK street in Des Moines is something of a highway. It's the main north-south thoroughfare in the city. By its nature, it will never have housing projects.
A call for a white history month and all the rest is a silly reaction to black history month considering the origins of each.
That's good. Politicians can do strange things with good intentions and end up having bad results.
For that reason, I would have opposed MLK blvd and would have pushed for naming after a respected local or state level black leader there instead.
I don't know any in GR(other side of the state from where I'm at), but I can think of a few with Michigan ties. Dave Bing is the first to come to mind. I don't think this would even be news if it was him. Bing was a Pistons Hall of Famer and also a business owner who is now trying to open charter schools in Detroit.
True enough, but it is in an icky part of town.
Any Savannah, GA Freepers out there? I was visiting that town this week and it's a great place. However, a couple nights ago my wife and I were walking through downtown on Ogelthorpe Street and ended up on MLK Blvd. What a blight and an eyesore. I immediately started thinking "let's find our car and get out of here."
BTW, nothing racist implied here, we had a great time visiting Savannah and the rest of the downtown area (which is 50/50 black/white and one of the first truly integrated Southern cities) was a lot of fun to be in. Especially River Street where I met a lot of good people, including the author of a book on the town (Murray Silver) who personally signed his book for us. I also stopped at the Moon River Brewing Company and Churchill's English Pub a couple of times. Then we spent a lot of time visiting the squares and some of the old houses and graveyards. Lot of history in that town.
MLK is a main drag over in Lansing and goes through some rough areas, but it isn't the worst part of Lansing.
I wouldn't walk MLK in St. Petersburg *or* Tampa on a dare.
Get lost, troll.
Classic DU troll.
LOL DUH supports the troops.
"Robert S,...said it is...a new beginning for a street with a reputation for prostitution and drug trafficking."
If this fellow is hoping the name change will improve the street action, I'm afraid he's in for a disappointment. I'd like to know more about why he hates his step father so much he dropped the last 6 letters of his name.
heh. All signs point to ZOT.
sad fact of life is that now politicians are "required" to name SOME street after MLK in order to appease the 90% of black people who vote for the democrat party.
Where this PC mandate runs into problems is when they have to replace a historic non-civil rights related name. Merchants are trapped in a catch 22. If they oppose a name change they are called racists, if they allow the name change they business gets hurt.
I just think that the state that is the home of George Washington Carver should not have looked to King to name a street.
IMO, MLK gets the attention because of his soaring speaking style and not much else. Others started the civil rights movement; he capitalized on it. By the time of his death he was already starting to become irrelevant as the changes he wanted came and history passed him by. His philosophy was based on the work of others-Booker T Washington, and especially Ghandi. MLK was a latecomer. He was a good man, but not a saint.
George Washington Carver would have been much better, a man who self taught science and agriculture. He's the very antithesis of the liberal view of education.
In most cities, the MLK street is placed wherever the local civil rights community wants it.
Of course, GWC did not retire at Iowa State because the school was too cheap to retain him. But that's more of my own personal issues than this thread needs.
And I wouldn't in Detroit, Saginaw, or Flint.
go play on the freeway.
Interesting that there was a long protracted fight on the name change and this was in Michigan.
I live in Arkansas and we have had numerous streets here renamed for King in the last 10 to 15 years and I can't remember any controversy about doing any of them at all.
How do I get to the Martin Luther King Museum?
Take a left on MLK, then go down to Martin Luther King. Take a right on King, then go four miles to Martin. Follow along till you get to the MLK turnpike, and you'll pass MLK Park. Stop at the MLK parking lot and ride the King escalator up to the MLK ticket booth. There's a guy there named Junior that can guide you to the Martin Luther King overpass that will take you to the musem.
I am not making a call for any of those. I was illustrating a double standard: racism is OK, so long as it's directed at whites.
Yes that's the prevailing attitude among the liberals today, so we agree. For some odd reason white liberals endorse it heartily when it doesn't affect them.
Same thing with "George Washington Carver Elementary."