Story by Destiny Mizell / Contributing Writer
Photo by John Lane / Contributing Photographer and Toriana Williams / News Editor
Many cities in Tennessee have streets dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr., and his dedication to civil rights, yet Murfreesboro has yet to follow suit. Since recent civil protests and an increase of the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement, creating a tribute to someone who has had such an impact on unity and civil rights comes as no surprise and has generally been welcomed by the community.
Over the course of a few years, suggestions of having a road in Murfreesboro dedicated to the renowned King have surfaced. This time, however, the city of Murfreesboro may see true results.
In a city council meeting on Feb. 4 this year, Councilman Kirt Wade proposed renaming Mercury Boulevard, a street with more than 400 residents, to honor King.
“A citizen had mentioned it to the mayor two and a half years ago, but nothing ever really came about it. I was going to bring it back up, and I thought this year would be a good year to do it,” Wade said.
When asked on if Murfreesboro would see results on his proposal, Wade responded hopefully. More than what meets the eye goes into changing the name of a street, though. Wade explained that renaming Mercury Boulevard would impact both residents and the business community. The city would have to send the title change to the 911 system to ensure the safety of the people.
With all of these factors considered, the city staff must weigh the pros and cons. This shows that Wade’s proposal is in the works, but there is still a ongoing process.
Some wonder why, of all roads in the city, that Wade chose Mercury Boulevard. He explained that he wanted the tribute road to be a predominant one in the city.
“Back there is traveled by everybody, and I didn’t want to just put it in the black neighborhood…Everyone will see it. It’s for everybody,” Wade clarified.
The city staff and councilman Wade are looking forward to the positive outcome and change that the tribute should have on the community.
“I think what it really expresses is someone who stood up for what is right- and he was an icon. I think that everyone should see that. Especially little kids when they see the street name and ask, “Who is that?”. You can tell them who Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was and what he stood for,” Wade beamed.
To contact News Editor Toriana Williams, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News