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Martin Luther King Street

A teaser trailer for the MLK Streets Project, a documentary film examining the state of the many avenues, boulevards and thoroughfares named after the slain ...


This video echoes much of what the authors of the fantastic book "Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory" say (in fact one of the authors is shown in this video).  Throughout America, streets that are named after Martin Luther King Jr. frequently are in poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods.  This video highlights the irony between the historical memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and places of memorialization that bear his name.   


Questions to ponder: If Matin Luther King Jr. represents non-violence, then why are streets bearing his name often in 'violent' neighborhoods?  Where should Martin Luther King be memorialized in the United States?  Only in the South?  Only in predominantly African-American communities?  Do the geography of the spaces where he is memorialized say something about the United States?    

 

Tags: historical, culture, landscape, place, race, unit 3 culture, USA, urban, poverty, unit 7 cities, book review

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melissa stjean's comment, October 8, 2012 6:49 PM
These streets are the most popular in the country, but they are located mostly located in areas with profoundly poorer incomes. With poorer incomes, leads to increased crime rates, does naming a street after an iconic hero please the people who live here? It seems like the geography of these places is creating a line of segregation by using his name for a street.
Jeff F's comment, October 8, 2012 7:42 PM
Martin Luther King Streets are places into prominently African-American neighborhoods because that is where the dominant white culture says they belong. Martin Luther King jr was a powerful African-American man and a powerful African-American man has no place in white communities according to this philosophy. If a MLK street was to be placed into a white suburb it would likely cause controversy. Cries of myths such as "reverse racism" would likely run rampant. This would be accompanied with the idea that a MLK street should only belong in an area with a heavy African-American population.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 14, 2012 12:49 PM
I think Martin Luther King should be memorialized in all parts of the country, and why not with all cultures and races. He did stand for non-violence and non-discrimination, which happens among all types of people.
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