List of streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr.
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 King, including Italy and Israel. The number of streets named after King is increasing every year, and about 70% of these streets are in Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas. King's home state of Georgia had the most, with 75 streets as of 2001; this had increased to 105 as of 2006.
As of 2003, there were over 600 American cities that had named a street after King. By 2004, this number had grown to 650, according to NPR. In 2006, Derek Alderman, a cultural geographer at East Carolina University, reported the number had increased to 730, with only 11 states in the country without a street named after King.
In one of his popular television specials, comedian Chris Rock points to the irony of streets and roads named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., — they’re located in some of the most violent neighborhoods in the U.S., even though King stood for non-violence.
The following is a list of prominent streets named after Martin Luther King Jr.
- 1 Akron, Ohio
- 2 Allentown, Pennsylvania
- 3 Atlanta, Georgia
- 4 Augusta, Georgia
- 5 Austin, Texas
- 6 Baltimore, Maryland
- 7 Beaumont, Texas
- 8 Benton Harbor, Michigan
- 9 Boston, Massachusetts
- 10 Camden, New Jersey
- 11 Charlotte, North Carolina
- 12 Chicago, Illinois
- 13 Cincinnati, Ohio
- 14 Cleveland, Ohio
- 15 Dallas, Texas
- 16 Dayton, Ohio
- 17 Des Moines, Iowa
- 18 Detroit, Michigan
- 19 Dover, Delaware
- 20 Durham, North Carolina
- 21 Elgin, Illinois
- 22 Fayetteville, Arkansas
- 23 Fayetteville, North Carolina
- 24 Fort Myers, Florida
- 25 Fort Worth, Texas
- 26 Galveston, Texas
- 27 Houston, Texas
- 28 Indianapolis, Indiana
- 29 Ithaca, New York
- 30 Jackson, Mississippi
- 31 Jacksonville, Florida
- 32 Jersey City, New Jersey
- 33 Knoxville, Tennessee
- 34 Lansing, Michigan
- 35 Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, Nevada
- 36 Little Rock, Arkansas
- 37 Los Angeles, California
- 38 Louisville, Kentucky
- 39 Madison, Wisconsin
- 40 Memphis, Tennessee
- 41 Miami and Hialeah, Florida
- 42 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 43 Morristown, Tennessee
- 44 New Haven, Connecticut
- 45 New Orleans, Louisiana
- 46 New York, New York
- 47 Newark, New Jersey
- 48 Oakland and Berkeley, California
- 49 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- 50 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 51 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- 52 Portland, Oregon
- 53 Prince George's County, Maryland
- 54 Reno, Nevada
- 55 Sacramento, California
- 56 Saint Paul, Minnesota
- 57 Saint Petersburg, Florida
- 58 Salt Lake City, Utah
- 59 San Antonio, Texas
- 60 San Diego, California
- 61 San Francisco, California
- 62 Seattle, Washington
- 63 Selma, Alabama
- 64 Tampa, Florida
- 65 Tacoma, Washington
- 66 Tallahassee, Florida
- 67 Washington, D.C.
- 68 Wichita, Kansas
- 69 Wichita Falls, Texas
- 70 Wilmington, Delaware
- 71 Wilmington, North Carolina
- 72 Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- 73 Worcester, Massachusetts
- 74 See also
- 75 References
- 76 External links
The OH-59 freeway in downtown Akron, formerly the Akron Innerbelt, is now the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway. Also, a part of OH-59 just after this expressway ends is known as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in King's hometown of Atlanta is a major landmark for tourism. It borders the Atlanta University Center, a conglomerate of historically black colleges and universities that includes King's alma mater Morehouse College.
Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard serves as a connector, linking Georgia State Route 4 (known as Milledgeville Road southwest of this intersection and Ruth B. Crawford Highway north-northeast of it) with Old Savannah Road and Twiggs Street.
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard begins at an exit on Interstate 395 and continues to Chase Street at Park Avenue. The original name of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was Harbor City Boulevard. It was renamed in honor of King shortly after it opened. The boulevard separates the predominantly black neighborhoods of West Baltimore from the downtown central business district. It was mentioned as the dividing line of West Baltimore and Downtown in a Homicide: Life on the Street episode titled "Scene of the Crime".
Martin Luther King Pkwy is the name of Spur 380, a highway which passes through Lamar University.
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Northbound M-139 south of Main Street is designated Martin Luther King Drive.
Camden, New Jersey
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is located in downtown Camden. The road travels from Riverside Drive on the Delaware River waterfront, with a view of the Philadelphia skyline, east to an interchange with Interstate 676.
Charlotte, North Carolina
In 2006, Second Street in Uptown was renamed to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It travels through what was once the predominantly Black neighborhood of Brooklyn, which was demolished in the 1960s to make way for expansion of the central business district.
In 1968, Chicago became the first city in the country to name a street after King. Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (formerly South Park Way, originally Grand Boulevard) features a Tribute to the Great Northern Migration (a statue honoring the thousands of African Americans who migrated north to Chicago) and a Victory Monument for the Eighth Regiment (featuring a statue of a WWI African American soldier).
Martin Luther King Drive is a major crosstown artery in Cincinnati. It connects the west side of the city to the east, running through several historic uptown neighborhoods. It will open in 2015.
In 1981, Begins at an interchange with I-90, weaving south through the city to Harvard Avenue.
Cleveland renamed Liberty Boulevard, which had been named to commemorate Cleveland area soldiers who had been killed in World War I, to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, to commemorate King. The largest span of the road is enclosed by Rockefeller Park. During the 1980s, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was very dark at night, which is when most of the criminal activity took place. Currently, there are street lights every 10–20 feet (3.0–6.1 m) along the parkway, as well as spotlights surrounding the nearby recreational areas. The road is known for its old, beautiful overpasses.
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is a major street in South Dallas, running from Fair Park to just before South Lamar Street, where it becomes Cedar Crest Boulevard and crosses the Trinity River into Oak Cliff. In the middle of its length, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard intersects with Malcolm X Boulevard, another major South Dallas street.
Martin Luther King Jr. Way runs approximately 3 miles through the west side of the city of Dayton. The named part of the road begins from just west of the Great Miami River to the western edge of the Dayton city proper limits. This street is also called West Third Street.
Des Moines, Iowa
Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway (formerly Harding Road) originally traveled from Madison Avenue in the North Central part of the city south to Ingersoll Avenue near Downtown. Later, a new bypass was built just south of Downtown and was also named Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. To connect the original parkway to the new beltway, an extension of the original street was built south of Ingersoll by constructing an underpass at Grand Avenue, bridges over the Raccoon River, and a new "T" intersection at Fleur Drive and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway (beltway section). A left turn (to travel eastbound) is required at Fleur Drive to continue on Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway (Fleur Drive continues south). The new beltway extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway is an east–west route that currently ends at S.E. 9th Street, near Downtown.
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (formerly Myrtle Street) travels approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast to southwest from the M-10/J.C. Lodge Freeway to West Grand Boulevard on the west side of Detroit.
On January 19, 2013, the city of Dover renamed Court Street, Duke of York Street, and William Penn Street near Delaware Legislative Hall to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Originally Delaware Route 8 (Division Street) was to be renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, but merchants opposed.
Durham, North Carolina
Fayetteville City Council voted in January 2008 to officially rename Sixth Street, which passes through the city's historically black neighborhood as well as the southern boundary of the University of Arkansas campus, to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Wal-Mart headed a petition of 71 businesses opposed to the renaming. Part of the road is designated as Arkansas Highway 180.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
The Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway, also known as the Central Business District Loop (CBD Loop), is a freeway in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the adjacent Gray's Creek Township. It is designated in part as US 401 and North Carolina Highway 87. This freeway has the credentials to be commissioned as an Interstate highway (such as I-395), but was never done so.
Fort Myers, Florida
Fort Worth, Texas
The entirety of 29th Street is known as Martin Luther King Street from Seawall Boulevard to Harborside Drive. It is one of two streets in Galveston named after prominent African Americans - another street (41st Street) is named for former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson.
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (formerly South Park Boulevard until 1976) travels from the University of Houston south to Orem Drive through the predominantly black neighborhoods of Old Spanish Trail, South Park, Sunnyside, and South Acres. The boulevard is proposed to be extended further southward to Houston's Texas State Highway Beltway 8. Metro's bus route 77 runs along almost the entire length of the boulevard between Wheeler and Orem.
Northwestern Avenue was renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street in 1985. There have been recent proposals to extend the name much further, replacing Michigan Road. Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech in Indianapolis after learning of King's assassination.
Ithaca, New York
Martin Luther King Jr. Street (also called State Street)
Whitfield Mills Street, located in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, was changed to Martin Luther King Street in the 1980s. This street, which intersects with Medgar Evers Boulevard at a Jackson landmark called Freedom Corner, is the site of one of the largest Martin Luther King Day parades in the Nation.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway is a bypass around downtown.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Martin Luther King made two speeches in the city. Martin Luther King Drive was named in his honor. In 2000, a station of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail was opened with memorial and other public art related his life and the civil rights movement.
Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue travels northeast to southwest for a distance of 2.8 miles (4.5 km) on the east side of Knoxville.
The state capital of Michigan and also the childhood home of Malcolm X. A portion of the road is designated as M-99 or the Capitol Loop. Formerly called Logan Street (until 1994), Martin Luther King Blvd travels north-south along the western side of Lansing.
Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, Nevada
The section of Highland Drive north of Oakey Boulevard was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the 1990s. The roadway connects the western edge of Downtown Las Vegas to the newer and more affluent parts of North Las Vegas. Via ramps to the road at the "Spaghetti Bowl" (I-15/US 93/US 95) freeway interchange near downtown, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard provides the most direct connection between the north-central Las Vegas Valley and the Las Vegas Strip. The road also passes through historic "West Las Vegas", an older and predominantly Black neighborhood. The city identifies the road as "Martin L. King Blvd.", omitting the Jr. and using L in place of Luther. Most residents in the Las Vegas Valley use the term MLK.
Little Rock, Arkansas
In 1992, High Street was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The street, which begins next to the Arkansas State Capitol building, is home to parades and community events. Martin Luther King Jr. Interdistrict Magnet Elementary School is located on the street.
Los Angeles, California
In 1983, Santa Barbara Avenue in South Los Angeles was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, three years before President Ronald Reagan signed a law declaring King's birthday a national holiday. That event was celebrated by the first Kingdom Day Parade, now an annual tradition, held on the street between Crenshaw Boulevard and Western Avenue. Due to the length of the name, the roadway is often abbreviated as King Blvd. on its traffic signs and sometimes called MLK Blvd. Another Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (formerly Century Boulevard) exists in nearby Lynwood, California. There also exists Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Long Beach, California.
Interstate 65 in Louisville is named the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway.
The two-block street southeast from the State Capitol building to Wilson Street in front of Monona Terrace is named Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
In addition, Linden Avenue between Danny Thomas Boulevard and Front Street is named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Miami and Hialeah, Florida
North 62nd Street (East 9th Street in Hialeah) is called Martin Luther King Boulevard since he gave speeches all across the South, including the city of Miami. Ironically, he gave one of his speeches at a church near the intersection of East 8th Street and LeJeune Road. It is unknown when the road got this name. But some Hialeah residents say it was in the middle of the 1970s.
On the northwest side of downtown Milwaukee, N. 3rd Street (from W. McKinley Avenue to N. Green Bay Avenue), was renamed N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, although residents and street signs sometimes refer to it as King Drive. The renamed portion is a 2-mile-long (3.2 km) stretch through the Harambee, Brewer's Hill, and Halyard Park neighborhoods, which in the 19th century were originally populated by German immigrants but are now predominantly African-American. A branch of the Milwaukee Public Library located on this road is also named the Martin Luther King Library.
In Morristown on the west side of town, SR-66 is called Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.
New Haven, Connecticut
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, formerly North Frontage Road, is a westward one-way main entrance into New Haven, home of Yale University. The name was successfully dedicated in 2011 through continuous efforts by New Haven's Muslim alderman Yusuf Shah. Exits off of I-91 and I-95 take drivers onto the boulevard into downtown New Haven, which then terminates at West River Memorial Park.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Most of Melpomene Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Several murals of King are painted along the boulevard. The boulevard is also near a King statue and memorial on Claiborne Avenue, and the boulevard is part of the route of New Orleans' annual Martin Luther King Day parade. The boulevard is located in Central City, which is historically the city's largest African American commercial district and a major hub for the Uptown African American community. The renamed section starts at its intersection with St. Charles Ave where many Mardi Gras parades pass and ends at a 3-way intersection with Earhart Boulevard and S. Jefferson Davis Parkway. Melpomene Avenue between the Mississippi River and St. Charles Avenue retains its original name.
New York, New York
125th Street between First Avenue and 12th Avenue is designated Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (shortened by locals as MLK Jr. Boulevard). MLK Jr. Boulevard, which runs through Harlem, intersects with Malcolm X Boulevard at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue. The street features Apollo Theater, a famous center for African American music.
Newark, New Jersey
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard traces the western edge of downtown Newark, separating the academic buildings of Rutgers and NJIT. MLK Boulevard extends from Bloomfield Avenue in the north to Clinton Avenue in the south. It was traditionally named High Street.
Oakland and Berkeley, California
Grove Street, which stretched for several miles north from Downtown Oakland into North Berkeley, was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Way in 1984. The street had once represented the dividing line between neighborhoods where minorities could and could not live or buy property.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Northern section of Eastern Avenue, from E. Reno Avenue north to N. 63rd Street, was renamed "Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard" in honor of his impact on Oklahoma City and the nation. The boulevard is the principal north-south avenue in Oklahoma City's Eastside section, home to the state's largest African American community. Prominent landmarks along the boulevard include many of Oklahoma City's top attractions, such as the Oklahoma City Zoological Park, Remington Park, and Omniplex Science Museum. Other institutions of note include Mabel Bassett Correctional Center, Ralph Waldo Ellison Public Library, the recently rebuilt campus of Frederick Augustus Douglass High School, and the YWCA Branch. It is legend that King interviewed to become pastor of the historic Calvary Baptist Church in today's Deep Deuce Historic neighborhood, but church officials turned him down due to his youthful age.
The Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway, a bus rapid transit line, travels 9 miles (14 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh to Rankin via Shadyside, East Liberty, Homewood, Edgewood, and Wilkinsburg. It is used by an average of 25,000 people each weekday.
Union Avenue between Delta Park and SW Division Street was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in 1990. It, as part of a two-way couplet with Grand Avenue, carries Oregon State Route 99E through East Portland.
Prince George's County, Maryland
Some signs designate the US 395 freeway in Reno as the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway, although the highway is rarely referred to by this name.
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard travels from Broadway south to Franklin Boulevard. It is crossed by SR 99.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard travels in front of the Minnesota State Capitol.
Saint Petersburg, Florida
The St. Petersburg City Council gave Ninth Street the additional name of M.L. King Jr. Street in 1987; in 2003, the street was fully renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, also known as 600 south, runs west to east through the heart of Salt Lake City.
San Antonio, Texas
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard starts out as a neighborhood street at Alps Drive and ends at Palmetto Street which it merges into Pittman-Sullivan Park. Then, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard travels from New Braunfels Avenue to W.W. White Road. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is located on San Antonio's east side, which is one of two predominantly African American areas of San Antonio, the other being northeast San Antonio. St. Phillips College, a community college originally founded as a HBCU is also located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It is crossed by I-10, where it meets Martin Luther King Park, which holds one of the largest Martin Luther King Day parades in the United States.
San Diego, California
Market Street was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Way for a few years in the 1980s and 1990s before SR 94, a freeway traveling east from downtown, was renamed the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway.
San Francisco, California
In 1976, Sylvan Street was renamed Martin Luther King Street. King spent many days along Sylvan Street working for civil rights in the 1960s, especially by speaking at First Baptist Church and Brown Chapel. Brown Chapel is the background in a famous Time magazine photograph of King in the 1960s. Today, there is a monument honoring King in front of Brown Chapel. Brown Chapel was also the beginning of the route of the infamous Bloody Sunday march led by King. Ironically, the street crosses Jefferson Davis Avenue, named after the president of the Confederacy.
In 1989, the entire stretch of Buffalo Avenue from Drew Park to Plant City was renamed "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard", also designated as State Road 574. Notable attractions include Raymond James Stadium.
The area of K Street, from South 27th to Division Streets, within the neighborhood commonly referred to as "Hilltop", was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Way in 1993.
Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd runs north and south through Tallahassee, FL. A portion of S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd runs just blocks west of the State Capitol.
Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue (formerly Nichols Avenue SE) is the main commercial street in the part of Southeast Washington east of the Anacostia River. It intersects Malcolm X Avenue SE (formerly Portland Street SE) near Bolling Air Force Base and St. Elizabeths Hospital.
Also very near the street is the home of Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist, for whom a major city bridge along South Capitol Street is named. Other streets and bridges named for prominent civil rights figures are Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE and the Whitney Young Bridge along East Capitol Street.
Wichita Falls, Texas
In 2006, the city renamed Eastside Drive to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from Burkburnett Road to East Scott Avenue. Many businesses along the road have the name Eastside in reference to their location by the street's previous name.
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard connects Lancaster Avenue to Front Street, traveling from I-95 to the Wilmington Amtrak Station at US 13. It provides a gateway for the New Castle County suburbs to Wilmington's waterfront, downtown, and the transit hubs from I-95. Eastbound (inbound) lanes connect with Lancaster Avenue, and are therefore able to draw from both exit 6 off of I-95, and the surrounding urban neighborhoods of Wilmington that lie west of downtown. Westbound (outbound) lanes of MLK Jr. Boulevard terminate at, and merge directly with I-95, providing a direct link between city and highway only. Wilmington Boulevard was renamed Martin Luther King Boulevard in 1989.
Wilmington, North Carolina
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is a 3.7-mile-long (6.0 km) road that begins at the intersection of 8th Street and Trade Street downtown and reaches its terminus at Thomasville Road in the Southeast part of the city. It is predominantly African-American. The section between Liberty Street and Cleveland Avenue has been given the honorary name The Golden Mile. Every Martin Luther King Day, a parade is held on this street, marchers sing freedom hymns and carry signs calling for peace and social justice. It passes through the campus of Winston-Salem State University, a HBCU. Bowman Gray Stadium is also located on this street.
In 2009, Worcester renamed East Central Street, the primary road connecting I-290 to the central business district, "MLK Jr. Boulevard." The highway signs for what had been the E. Central Street exit were replaced with MLK Jr. Boulevard signs on January 19, 2009, which was that year's observance of Martin Luther King Day.
- List of museums focused on African Americans
- Artworks commemorating African Americans in Washington, D.C.
- King County, Washington, which includes Seattle, is named for King
- "Martin Luther King Jr. Streets in Georgia". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 December 2006.
- "King's Way: Snapshots of life along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- "Along Martin Luther King". NPR.org. Retrieved 2006-12-01.
- Google Inc. "overview of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Camden, NJ". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Unknown+road&daddr=Dr+Martin+Luther+King+Blvd&hl=en&sll=39.942585,-75.113609&sspn=0.003123,0.005284&geocode=FdB7YQId5pqF-w%3BFdN5YQIdK96F-w&t=h&mra=ls&z=16. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Address for Dreams: Martin Luther King Drive. The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved on 19 May 2008
- Case Western Reserve University History Department, Liberty Row, in The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
- Case Western Reserve University History Department, Monuments, in The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
- Prado, Antonio (January 19, 2013). "Dover dedicates new Martin Luther Jr. King Boulevard at Legislative Mall". Dover Post. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Bill Status of HR1214 95th General Assembly
- "Driving the Dream: Part One". WTHR.com. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- Google Maps
- Martin Luther King Jr. speeches in Jersey City
- Michigan Department of Transportation (2010). Official Department of Transportation Map (Map). 1 in:3.5 mi/1 cm:2 km. Lansing inset.
- Natambu, Kofi (2002). The Life and Work of Malcolm X. Indianapolis: Alpha Books. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-02-864218-5.
- MacMillan, Thomas (June 18, 2011). "North Frontage Is "MLK Boulevard"". New Haven Independent. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- Sanders, Alexandra (June 19, 2011). "Sign designates new MLK Blvd". New Haven Register. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- Wilson, John (February 21, 2003). "(Ninth) to leave King Street". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
- de Leon, Ferdinand M. "Seattle: Martin Luther King Way is growing into its name". Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 December 2006.
- Untiring activist; his whirl of cuisine
- Are the streets fit for King?
- Article 10: Naming And Marking Of Highways And Bridges
- Delaware Highways AA roads, Retrieved 6 August 2011
- Further reading
- Roadways Across America. The Seattle Times, 1998.