About 900 Streets Across the United States of America are Named for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Claiming A Street Named King” Project uses the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a Community Development Model in Reclaiming Streets Named After MLK:
“The Beloved Community”
“Sense of Place/Belonging”
(Atlanta, Georgia) – In September 2010, Author/Professor Dr. Derek H. Alderman explained facets of the “Claiming A Street Named King” Project during a Power Point presentation entitled “Empowering Our Communities” during a Georgia Clients Council event in Atlanta, Georgia.
Professor Alderman is a research fellow at East Carolina University and a geographer who has helped work on a plan for the redevelopment of the Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards.
The goal is to “improve the condition of boulevards named after Martin Luther King, Jr. across Georgia” and the nation.
Of the 900 streets named for civil rights legend MLK, over 78 percent are located in 10 south states: Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky.
Streets named for Dr. King are located in 40 states, DC and Puerto Rico.
“To name any street for King is to invite an accounting of how the street makes good on King’s promise or mocks it,” said Author Jonathan Tilove, who wrote the book “Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America’s Main Street.”
Labeled by the media as a “King Street naming expert,” Dr. Alderman has written numerous formal papers like “Martin Luther King, Jr. Streets in the South: A New Landscape of Memory” 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.”
“King streets commemorate the civil rights movement as a completed part of the past, but they speak, perhaps more importantly, to the still unfinished nature of the dream,” Alderman said.
He said the project is using Dr. King’s Vision as a Community Development Model in reclaimed streets named after Dr. King:
“The Beloved Community, Economic Justice, Community Empowerment, Livable Cities, Sense of Place/Belonging.”
For a community to develop a grassroots revitalization plan, it must first understand its strengths, assets and opportunities, as well as its problems and challenges, Alderman said.
Through community-based research, residents are able to interpret the information and use it to take proactive steps towards improving their conditions, Alderman said.
Dr. Derek H. Alderman, PhD is a Professor of Geography at East Carolina University, where he is also a Research Fellow in Cultural and Heritage Tourism in the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
Dr. Alderman’s research focuses on the naming of streets for Martin Luther King, Jr. and the political struggles that frequently surround the naming process.
He focuses on how the struggle to name roads for King is part of a broader fight for public space in American cities and extensions of the ongoing struggle for civil rights and livability.
Alderman has a broader interest in economic and social empowerment through African American heritage tourism and how tourist places and spaces serve as arenas for the negotiation of identity, place, and memory within communities.
Organizers hope the project will inspire others to start similar efforts along other streets named for human rights leaders like Coretta Scott King, Muhammad Ali, Jesse Jackson, Grace Lee Boggs, Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela and Mr. James Brown, according to Project Founder Rev. Terence A. Dicks of Augusta, Georgia.—
Related Links — “Claiming A Street Named King” on YouTube “Claiming A Street Named King” Project feature story #1 by Georgia Clients Council “Claiming A Street Named King” Project feature story #2 by Georgia Clients Council
“Claiming A Street Named King” Revitalizing MLK Boulevard in Augusta, GA.: A Preliminary Report “Claiming A Street Named King” Official Website “Claiming A Street Named King” Page Two of Official Website “Claiming A Street Named King” University of Georgia School of Environmental Design 2007 Report submitted to the Georgia Clients Council< Blog #1 – “Claiming A Street Named King: Revitalizing All Streets Named For Civil Rights Leaders” on WordPress Blog #2 – “Claiming A Street Named King: Respecting The Dream” on Blogger MLK Author Derek H. Alderman: “Martin Luther King, Jr. Streets in the South: A New Landscape of Memory.” MLK Author Jonathon Tilove: “Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America’s Main Street” News Story: Terence Dicks appointed chairman of Augusta Human Relations Commission Terence Dicks on Facebook
Terence Dicks on Flickr – PhotoStream Terence Dicks on Flickr – Profile Terence Dicks on Google Terence Dicks on LinkedIn Terence Dicks on MySpace Terence Dicks on Twitter Terence Dicks on Viddler Terence Dicks on Yahoo