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MLK Way

IMG_9372 by Morgan Jones

IMG_9372, a photo by Morgan Jones on Flickr.

Just a few of the enjoyable images in this set: MLK Way.

Dice Trash Can on MLK by Morgan Jones
Dice Trash Can on MLK, a photo by Morgan Jones on Flickr.
IMG_9369 by Morgan Jones
IMG_9369, a photo by Morgan Jones on Flickr.
IMG_9433 by Morgan Jones
IMG_9433, a photo by Morgan Jones on Flickr.
IMG_9438 by Morgan JonesIMG_9438, a photo by Morgan Jones on Flickr.
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MLKs: Data presented


Hope Chu, currently completing a master’s in graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design, finished a cool project last spring:  A catalog of some 90 streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr., with some geographic, demographic and polling metadata incorporated. Check it out here.

Here’s Chu’s statement:

Martin Luther King, Jr
2010
A typology of 90 of the over 700 streets, avenues, boulevards, highways, roads, &c named in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr, in the United States. Each street is abstracted to a simple black line, and sorted by type of street. Information about the length of the street, the African American population of the area, and the voting results of the district in the 2008 presidential election is also included. This catalogue explores the effect (or non-effect) of honoring this historical figure in such a prosaic manner and with such proliferation.

Keli Dailey video: “Destination Martin Luther King”

A very nice video, via MLK In Motion, has this description on YouTube:

Give yourself plenty of time to see the uneasiest street in America.

You can take pictures next to cars with trash bags for windows or near pit bulls guarding women twisting braids in their front yards. You can catch black vendors outside the Apollo Theatre hissing “devil” at tourists or spend an afternoon with a man named Dawg clutching a fistful of crack.

In Portland and Harlem and points between, go find a street named Martin Luther King.

I know you’ve been told to avoid it. Chris Rock even has a joke that essentially goes:

“If a friend calls you and says ‘I’m lost. I’m on Martin Luther King Boulevard’ and they want to know what to do, the best response is, ‘Run!’ ”

Well, I’ve toured them, and I’ve had to run only a couple of times.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article…

copyright Keli Dailey 2005

Mainstream media take on MLK BLVD

Here’s an MSNBC report on MLK BLVDs:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Monday…

Is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service. More here.

MLK Blvd as “Landscape of Memory”

The Fall 2008 issue of Southern Cultures, a scholarly journal, included a photo essay about MLK Blvds compiled by Derek Alderman, who has done research on MLKs in the past. The abstract says:

Traditionally, public commemoration in the South has been devoted largely to remembering the region’s role in the Civil War and the mythic Old South plantation culture supposedly lost as a result of that conflict. These memories remain deeply ingrained in the southern landscape of monuments, museums, historical markers, and place names. Yet, African Americans who seek to make their own claim to the South and its history increasingly challenge Civil War-centered conceptions of the past. Perhaps the best known of these struggles involve ongoing calls to remove public symbols of the Confederacy. At the same time, African American southerners are using direct political action to build memorials that recognize their own historical experiences, struggles, and achievements. A major pillar in this trend is the commemoration of another, quite different revolution from that of the Civil War—the Civil Rights Movement.

The naming of streets after slain Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is the most widespread example of African American efforts to rewrite the landscape of southern commemoration. Despite the growing frequency of naming streets in honor of Dr. King, this new cultural phenomenon has received limited attention, even though the inscription of King’s legacy onto streets is a potentially valuable indicator of where the South is in terms of race relations.

The photos include several culled from this site. They’re used by permission of the photographers, and credited properly, but unfortunately this site and project are not mentioned.