A longtime community and civil rights activist, Rev. Terence Dicks of Augusta, Georgia created the “Claiming A Street Named King” project.
“Claiming A Street Named King” is an initiative Mr. Dicks started during his tenure as chair of Georgia Clients Council.
In hopes of spurring “community and economic development,” the project is about “taking back the street by building businesses and homes on the crime-ridden abandoned boulevards that bear the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
An advocate for the low to moderate income people in Georgia, Rev. Dicks hopes to help others “improve the condition of boulevards named after Martin Luther King, Jr. across Georgia” and hopes it will turn into a nationwide effort.
However the project also has a wider scope:
Dicks said the project would welcome claiming back streets named after other civil rights leaders and activists from all backgrounds.
For example, the project would welcome groups or persons who want to revitalize streets named for late God Father of Soul Mr. James Brown, the prophetic Nelson Mandela, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his late wife Coretta Scott King, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Grace Lee Boggs, the late Mahatma Gandhi, the late César Chávez and others.
“All of these community leaders have messages of hope and accomplishment,” said Dicks, who hopes to hear from the centers, foundations and projects of these community leaders.
“People can identify with their day to day struggles,” he said.
“Above all they cared about the community they came from,” Dicks said. “They all have made a historic difference.”
Reclaiming the streets and heritage of these civic leaders can reinvigorate “economic development and economic empowerment” in each community that honors their work.
The project is also receiving support from Professor Derek H. Alderman, a research fellow at East Carolina University.
“Dr. Alderman is a geographer who has helped us to work on a plan for the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards,” Rev. Dicks said. “He is an expert on how to develop those types of properties.”
Labeled by the media as a “King Street naming expert,” Dr. Alderman has written numerous formal papers and co-wrote a book about the naming of streets for the slain civil rights leader entitled “Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory.”
Mr. Dicks first heard Dr. Alderman during the Tavis Smiley radio talk show.
Mr. Dicks wants “to see those streets given a second chance with the support of the Georgia Legal Services Program and supporters like author Jonathon Tilove.”
Author Jonathon Tilove “wrote the book that inspired me” to start the “Claiming A Street Named King” project, Mr. Dicks said.
Mr. Tilove wrote the book “Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America’s Main Street.”
While the “Claiming A Street Named King” project is still in the planning phase, Mr. Dicks hopes those interested with call, email or message his internet sites like WordPress, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook etc.
The 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination is only two years away.
“Some are and were really beautiful but vast majority are in really bad shape,” Mr. Dicks said.
“There was a lot of hope around those streets and what he did for me is he reminded me of why we name those streets for Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Mr. Dicks said.
“And the good feelings we had after we named the streets,” he said “But I realized we had not claimed the streets named after Dr. King.”
“Most important reason we are doing this because we were fortunate that Dr. King lived in our lifetime,” Mr. Dicks said.
While some of today’s youth have been taught about Dr. King, “we are heading into the second or third generation who doesn’t know about Dr. King and his achievements,” Rev. Dicks said.
“The generation that starts it (saving Dr. King boulevards) doesn’t have to be the generation who built it,” he said.
“We have to keep Dr. King’s work alive – keep it relevant and cogent,” Mr. Dicks said.
“The Georgia Clients Council and I have been discussing a tool kit for the development of a King Street program,” Rev. Dicks said, adding “we are planning to do something more formal here in Augusta.”
Georgia Clients Council:
Georgia Clients Council on Facebook:
“Claiming A Street Named King” Official website:
Revitalizing MLK Augusta: A Preliminary Report:
2007 Report on “Claiming A Street Named King” to the Georgia Clients Council
Submitted by the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design
A Walkability Analysis of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Drive, or Avenue
By Derek H. Alderman, Department of Geography, East Carolina University
Mr. Anibal Ibarra is concerned about is healthcare reform and the true “multimedia journalist“ has posted his opinions on twitter and created videos posted online under titles like “Healthcare Nightmare.”
Ibarra has posted videos on youtube about the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in Augusta, GA
Commemoration of Martin Luther King: Why King Still Matters?
On January 14, 2010, the Congregation Children of Israel hosted “Keeping the Dream Alive: Why Dr. King Still Matters, an interfaith service of celebration organized by the Progressive Religious Coalition of Augusta.
Among those attending were members of the CSRA Peace Alliance.
Anibal Ibarra, multimedia journalist, recorded much of the proceedings and posted the following videos to YouTube:
Anibal Ibarra @AnibalShow Georgia USA
Anibal Show on twitter: