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atlrvr

Rename Downtown Street to Martin Luther King St.?

Rename Stonewall Street to Martin Luther King St.?  

73 members have voted

  1. 1. Rename Stonewall Street to Martin Luther King St.?

    • No
      49
    • Yes
      19
    • Change name back to Independence
      5


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Well....I'm officially pissed off....."Smudgie" Mitchell is proposing to rename Stonewall St. to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.!!!!

Besides the fact that this is about the only example of something Charlotte HASN'T done that EVERY other city has, it seems that it brings large disinvestment to an area. Any person moving or visiting from another city will percieve the area to be unsafe....besides, there are lots of LOCAL people that are very deserving and have yet to be honored.

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I think there a already a little street by JCSU called MLK, it is true that any street named MLK is viewed as an unsafe area, most of North Carolina's HBCUs are located on or by an MLK street. WSSU, which is just minutes away from Downtown Winston-Salem is located at 601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, and of course north of the school is the ghetto and that goes the same for NCCU. There's an MLK near NC A&T, but NC A&T is better off any the other HBCU's are it is in a safer area. So what's the history of Stonewall Street, isn't Stonewall a Civil War or American Revolution general from the Charlotte area? New York has a Stonewall Street, but its history is dated back when the English took control from the Dutch and they built an actual stone wall to protect themselves from the Native American.

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I think kind of like the Confederate flag thing, this will take a life of its own and just happen. Once suggested, it's unstoppable, because it becomes an emotional debate. The quickest way to end the debate is to just do it.

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There is a proposal in the city council to rename the part of Stonewall that passes through the CBD to Martin Luther King St, Blvd, etc.

This will be the second time the road has been renamed in the last 20 years as it once was part of Independence Blvd before they build the John Belk Freeway and that part of the road was cut off from the rest of Indepencence.

Should they rename it again?

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if the proposal passes, then it will be the only Martin Luther King Blvd that i know of that doesnt pass through a troubled section of town. The question is if Charlotte still wants to be unique in being one of the only US cities our size or larger that doesnt currently have a MLK.

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I think renaming streets in this manner demeans and trivializes Martin Luther King's memory.

My main concern about this proposal is the fact that downtown streets should not have such long street names. It is just plain tacky. Why is it that governors and presidents and mayors and notables have had streets named for them with only their last name, but somehow the last name isn't enough for him, and they do something like Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior, Boulevard. That just makes him seem like some obscure figure.

For example, I'd be for this proposal if it was to name it King St and then spend 100 grand on plaques, statues, and monuments that honored him and shared his message. Instead, we get 10 foot long street sign that does nothing for sharing his vision for the world. It just makes it more annoying to give directions.

I also agree that it will bring a bad connotation for many people, especially tourists, who we want to bring to the new arts campus, the convention center, and (hopefully) the Nascar Hall of Fame. People unfamiliar with the city and how safe downtown is will be intimidated. It is a fact that almost every Martin Luther King Blvd across the country is in a high crime neighborhood, with only a few exceptions. Those cities that thought they were honoring a great man, instead have cheapened his memory. I agree with atlrvr that it will hurt redevelopment prospects in 2nd Ward due to this negative connotation.

Since I think the cat is out of the bag, and no politician can vote against it without being considered racist, I do hope they end up choosing the stretch of "Independence" through Midtown/Elizabeth rather than Stonewall Street. Maybe that area could then be known as the Kings neighborhood then. I still hope they go with a more subtle but dignified King Blvd, or King Street, or Dr. King Blvd.

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Politicos DO get their full name on streets. 421 out of Greensboro is James M Hunt Jr ... 485 here is James G Martin, etc.

Renaming the street King would get confusing, since there is already a Kings street so close. But heck, this is Charlotte, the city of confusing street names-- so I guess it kinda fits.

This is probably going to happen since Stonewall is an easy target. Few buildings have an address there and it's a recently renamed street without a lot of history. Renaming College or Church street would ruffle more feathers.

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There is a King's Drive. How is that confusing from King Boulevard. Maybe they should just add a Dr. to the beginning of King's Drive.

I agree that there are some places where full names are used, and I think they are all tacky. Why can't Paul S. Buck Boulevard be Buck Boulevard? It gets even worse when they start adding people's nicknames in there, too. However, I'd also put forth that Hunt and Martin are far from historical figures. No one will know who the heck they were a generation from now.

Seriously, Dr. King's legacy is so important to the modern history of this country. Many of the high school kids that my wife teaches (mostly black kids) have very little knowledge of King's message. Some of them (I kid you not) don't even comprehend that slavery was bad for any more reason than it simply sucks to work on a farm. I am a major proponent of projects like the AACC and the Levine Museum of the New South, which teach kids and adults about the legacy of racism and slavery.

I just think that the whole tradition of naming a street after him in every city has become a bit of a joke. I believe it has diminished his legacy. I have so many times in local news stories "...people shot...off Martin Luther King Blvd". It has created a bad connotation for a great man. It is like some tatooing your name on their ass... thanks, but, um, no thanks.

At this point, he needs to get parks, monuments, and other stuff built for his honor, history book chapters, and even a holiday. But he needs to get out of the boulevard business, his brand has tarnished by criminals.

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Also, I remembered another point that is a different angle to this story. I think the Observer wrote this, and it has been mentioned in this thread a few times. But Stonewall street IS the historic name for that street. It only was named Independence for a portion of its history. It was named Stonewall Street when it was first built in the mid 1800s.

You can go to the old maps on http://www.cmstory.org and check it out. There are maps from the Victorian era that have that street listed as Stonewall street. It stayed with the name Stonewall street until the post WWII era, when the city built Indepence Blvd and overlapped part of Stonewall as it plowed through Brooklyn.

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Can't Charlotte rename the street after a local civil rights leader? Sometimes we get so caught up in the big names that we forget the little local people that pushed for change without a whole lot of recognition.

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What came up in the proposal as to the reasons why? I'm truly curious -- groundswell community support? an historical connection in that specific area? because everyone else has one? to show support for diversity? the culmination of years of public clamoring?

I'm also curious about how efforts to honor Dr. King centered around street names? Did it develop as a connotation with marching, or was street naming just the thing to do? And for that matter, why is it an honor in the first place to have a street named for you? What is intrinsically meaningful about it? Why not a library, a park, a memorial artistic installation -- something more likely to cause someone to genuinely reflect, instead of a strip of asphalt where you're more likely to be honked at, stuck in traffic, get in an accident or any number of other unpleasantries. So you slap up a new street sign and some people have to get new stationery -- it's an easy fix, but what does that actually do to honor a person or influence minds and hearts? What sort of result is expected? Why not pool all the money it would cost to effect the change and create a scholarship or a cultural arts program instead?

I would just hate for this to become another one of those things where we feel like we've checked off a box on a list -- "Okay, we've got an MLK Blvd, see how inclusive and diverse we are?"

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What came up in the proposal as to the reasons why? I'm truly curious -- groundswell community support? an historical connection in that specific area? because everyone else has one? to show support for diversity? the culmination of years of public clamoring?

The proposal is coming from district city council member James Mitchell who represent's Charlotte District 2. It is his idea according to this article.

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I'd assume that Stonewall Street is named after Stonewall Jackson, famous during the 1860s. Thus I can see why certain groups wouldn't like that. I'm all in favor of naming streets after civil rights leaders, but why not name something like Independence Boulevard- a much longer and better known street- after them?

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The proposal is coming from district city council member James Mitchell who represent's Charlotte District 2. It is his idea according to this article.

"More than 700 cities across the country have named streets for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But not Charlotte." That's a rather weak supporting argument, IMO. What is it about those 700 cities that Mitchell would like to capture or recreate here? Is a new street sign the best way to accomplish that? I guess I'd like to see more on the meaning behind it -- tell us why this is the place, the time, and the best way to accomplish a goal -- instead of offering me-too reasoning. At least, I hope those types of critical questions will be asked and rationally discussed in good faith, without the threat of being accused of racism. To me, THAT would be more of a tribute to progress than any street sign.

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I'd assume that Stonewall Street is named after Stonewall Jackson, famous during the 1860s. Thus I can see why certain groups wouldn't like that. I'm all in favor of naming streets after civil rights leaders, but why not name something like Independence Boulevard- a much longer and better known street- after them?

I did a litte research and found that Stonewall Jackson's wife, Mary Anna Jackson was from Charlotte. When the Civil War started she returned to Charlotte and lived at her home on W. Trade St. Because SJ was killed during the war she remained at that home until she passed away at the age of 83.

It should be noted that Mary Anna's father was the first President of Davidson College, now known as Davidson University here in Mecklenburg. So I would conclude there is much more of a historical basis for keeping the street named for Stonewall rather than to name it for MLK. That is if the street was named for Jackson.

I think the reason we get these kind of proposals from district council members is first they pander to the interests of their specific constituents in their district and second, they have little knowledge of the history of this city. Personally I think it would be a shame to rename this particular street for MLK.

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I'm in agreement with Pat McCrory on this one:

"I've always kind of said, `Gosh, there's so many local people that have done so much that don't have anything, have no recognition,' " said McCrory.

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MLK does have a monument in 2nd Ward. He as a statue in the park. Perhaps if the park gets redeveloped we can move the statue to a more viewed spot. Perhaps the future developers can create a small pocket park in thier development for use by the future residents and put King's statue there and call that King Park or something.

Do Presidents Polk or Jackson have streets?

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Hell, put the thing over near Eastland Mall. What does this area even have to do with MLK? This is a proposal that came right of the blue that has no point in it? By the way is the guy wanting to do this an African American? Sounds to me like Charlotte is trying to wipe its reputation off as being a southern city.

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MLK does have a monument in 2nd Ward. He as a statue in the park. Perhaps if the park gets redeveloped we can move the statue to a more viewed spot. Perhaps the future developers can create a small pocket park in thier development for use by the future residents and put King's statue there and call that King Park or something.

Do Presidents Polk or Jackson have streets?

It would be a good idea to name the planned neighborhood park in 2nd Ward after Dr. King. It will feature a renovated auditorium from the old black high school in Brooklyn that is miraculously still standing.

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Andrew Jackson has Independence Boulevard. It is also labeled Andrew Jackson Highway or something like that.

I think the Polks have gotten snubbed. They founded the city and one of them became president of the US. In fact, Polk had much more ties to the city and the state than Jackson or Johnson, as both left the state as children, I believe. Check out Polk Street in Charlotte: http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=...2c%20NC%2028206 :)

Lincoln freed the slaves, and he only has an alleyway in an industrial area for his street in this town.

http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=...2c%20NC%2028203

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It's more than possible that Stonewall St. wasn't named for Stonewall Jackson despite the fact his wife was from Charlotte? Does anyone know the history of this street for sure?

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I think what would be more meaningful is if we named the African-American museum after Mr. King. Although what he stood for far transcended race, his name being attached to a very visible spot uptown that promoted understanding between peoples of different backgrounds would do far more in honoring his memory rather than simply slapping his name on a street that hundreds of cities in America have already done.

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I think what would be more meaningful is if we named the African-American museum after Mr. King. Although what he stood for far transcended race, his name being attached to a very visible spot uptown that promoted understanding between peoples of different backgrounds would do far more in honoring his memory rather than simply slapping his name on a street that hundreds of cities in America have already done.

I agree. If the city wishes to honor his memory, do it in a unique way.

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Stonewall Street was named for...get this...a stone wall. The concrete section we all know and love was, for a brief time, Independence Blvd. For goodness sake, PLEASE let it stay Stonewall!! MLK, J was a great man, but enough already.

And I agree with dub. What is it with us and naming streets using someone's entire name. Why is it the "Brookshire Freeway" and not the "Stan Brookshire Freeway"? We have the "John Belk Freeway", the "R.C. 'Josh' Birmingham Parkway" (that's my personal favorite "bad" one...barely fits on the sign), Billy Graham Parkway, James G Martin Freeway, Rusty Goode Freeway, Paul Buck Blvd, etc...ENOUGH!!!! Would the Belk Frwy, the Birmingham and Graham pkwys, Buck Blvd have not been good enough?

Can't we just say Kings Drive is now named in memory of Dr King? It's alerady named "King" and no one's address has to be changed. All we have to do is put an apostrophe in there and we're done. King's Drive.

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