After months of sometimes rancorous debate, the Jonesboro City Council has finally named a street for the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. KAIT TV reports.
The vote was 9-3 to rename Commerce Drive for King and it came over the objection of at least one business owner who’ll have to change stationery and incur other costs.
The vote was a victory for proponents of an honor for King. After turning back a proposal to rename Johnson Street, a supposed “unity” effort selected Commerce for the name change. But the Council was presented at the last minute with a proposal that would have kept Commerce as the name on the existing street and applied the new name only to extensions of the arterial. That idea prompted sharp criticism from black residents and from the editorial page of the Jonesboro Sun.
Monday’s vote cheered activist Emma Agnew, KAIT reported.
“For your black residents, this is about so much more than naming a street in honor of Dr. King,” Agnew said. “This is about a man who gave hope and the idea of inclusion, and that we were all created equal.”