MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BLVD. A SOURCE OF PRIDE AND REDLINING
The Civil Writer Magazine
Streets named after Martin Luther King Jr. can be found in many cities of the United States and in nearly every major metropolis. There are also a number of other countries that have honored Martin Luther King Jr., including Italy and Israel. The first street in the United States named in his honor was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Chicago in 1968. One of the most contentious street naming because Rev. Joseph Jackson pastor of Olivet Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side didn't want the church entrance on a street called MLK Blvd so the church address was the side street.
The only eleven states in the country without a street named after King was (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont). Thirteen cities have freeways named after Dr. King: Staten Island, New York; Jacksonville Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Akron, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fort Worth, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colorado; San Diego, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Bucks County); and Camden, New Jersey. The "O Block," is the most notorious King street at the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Chicago's South Side — the most dangerous block in Chicago where Michelle Obama once lived. The O was for 20-year-old Odee Perry, a gang member gunned down just around the corner on a summer’s night in 2011. Although any MLKs are streets of Black pride they also carries an atmosphere of redlining loans and insurances because they
are in areas deemed to be poor and a financial risk. Redlining, a process by which banks and other institutions refuse to offer mortgages or offer worse rates to customers in certain neighborhoods based on their racial and ethnic composition, and the areas around MLK Dr..... is one of the clearest examples of institutionalized racism. Examples of redlining can be found in a variety of financial services, including mortgages, student loans, credit cards, and insurance. ... Reverse redlining is the practice of targeting neighborhoods (mostly nonwhite) for products and services that are priced higher than the same services in areas with more competition. Before MLK AVE , Dr., or Blvd there were zip codes used for identifiable area to be redlined. Racial discrimination in mortgage lending in the 1930s shaped the demographic and wealth patterns of American communities today, a new study shows, with 3 out of 4 neighborhoods “redlined” on government maps 80 years ago are continuing to struggle economically. Although we stand proud of our Dr. Martin Luther King jr. streets and Blvd and what he stood for he would roll over in his marble grave if he knew what his name stood for with banks and services used against his Black brothers and sisters in neighborhoods in proximity to his streets carrying his name.