Tuesday, August 15, 2006

what's in a name?

It occured to me that many cities have streets or roads or blvds name after Martin Luther King, Jr. Now ths is all well and good - he's an important, significant and great man of American History. I'm all in favor of naming streets for him. At the same time, I can't think of a single street I've ever seen named for, say, Malcolm X or Harriet Tubman. I assume that they exist, but it's far less common.

Now I grant you that Malcolm X is, for some people, far more controversial than King, so perhaps that explains the geographical difference. What about someone like Jackie Robinson? Are there streets named for him?

Clearly it is my summer vacation. It's about to end - classes to prepare, textbooks to scan, syllabuses to plan. I am more grateful than I can say that I still have a job and can make such plans, even as I curse the mechanics necessary to enable me to go into the classroom.

3 comments:

braingirl said...

In California, every town has a Cesear Chavez avenue, street, or boulevard.

harriet said...

I'd never thought about this until we were returning from a choir tour. As we headed for the south side of Chicago, a member of the choir who was from Korea asked if it was required that every U.S. city have a Martin Luther King street. I feel like there is a Jackie Robinson st. somewhere, but I'm not sure. My cousin's named for him, though. Does that count? Probably not.

harriet said...

I just had to look up an address in Harlem that turned out to be between Malcom X and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. blvds. Both roads intersect 125th street, which is called Martin Luther King Blvd. a few blocks over.