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Martin Luther King street renaming under consideration

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WYFF 4 (NBC): Consideration is under way to rename a street to honor Martin Luther King. One street under consideration is Mall Road.

Honoring King with a street is good, but will it have additional positive impact?

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Has doing so in any other city ever made an impact?

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Look for this to be opposed on the grounds that "King is not a local hero" and there will be a campaign to rename the road after a local African American who has contributed to Anderson. I can see the logic, but I think it's misguided (and possibly veiled racism). The key with the MLK designation is that people actually know who he was. The symbolism is bigger than the man himself. If you name it after a local - only a few people will understand.

I think it would be a good thing for Anderson. I see the point about "has it done any good anywhere else". But I think it has. Most cities tuck their MLK Blvd away in an impoverished section of town. The equivalent might be Anderson renaming W Whitner - MLK Blvd. Renaming Mall Road would send a nice signal.

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Look for this to be opposed on the grounds that "King is not a local hero" and there will be a campaign to rename the road after a local African American who has contributed to Anderson. I can see the logic, but I think it's misguided (and possibly veiled racism). The key with the MLK designation is that people actually know who he was. The symbolism is bigger than the man himself. If you name it after a local - only a few people will understand.

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Krazee... Sorry to disagree. I'm glad they went with MLK instead of a local person. Here's why.

King is much better known so the symbolism is stronger. The significance of a local person would be lost on 99% of those passing by. The Floyd Wright Amphitheater is named after a local African American. I didn't know that until it was pointed out as part of the debate about the renaming of this road. I still don't know what Floyd Wright did. And I'm a progressive, educated professional who is interested in promoting local African American history. What are the chances the average person knows?

I agree that it's a token jesture to rename the road, but sometimes the tokens are worth taking note of. :P I think this is one of those cases.

They went for Mall Road after all. It's right in the heart of the main commercial corridor. There were proposals to rename River Street which would have buried the symbol on the "Black" side of town. That would have been a meaningless token. Mall Road ensures that everyone in the city will drive MLK Blvd from time to time.

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I understand your POV too, and I don't disgree that strongly here. I believe that MLK should definitely be honored locally, but too many times it's at the expense of local heroes who made more tangible impacts in their communities--and they should be honored in significant ways as well.

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