Today is of course the day we pay our respects and honor Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader, champion of non-violent civil disobedience, brilliant orator, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. This got us to thinking about Dr. King's legacy and lasting effect on America, his remarkable "I have a Dream" speech, and our curiosity eventually led to us wondering how many roads are named after MLK? Roads are a great tangible way to keep someone's legacy alive. We are always riding on roads that are named after historical figures, such as the FDR Drive that runs along the east river, or the Henry Hudson that runs up the West Side of Manhattan.
A little research on wikipedia shows that over 700 cities in America have a road named after Dr. King. In New York City, four blocks of 125th street that run through Harlem and are home to the Apollo theater are named after MLK. But poking a little futher, wiki notes that MLK streets often are located in economically depressed areas afflicted with urban blight, leading Chris Rock to quip "If you find yourself on 'Martin Luther King Boulevard', run!"
While this may make for good comedy, it is a sad reality that still exists in many parts of America today. As we take stock of MLK's legacy, it is clear that his work is not done. There have been many strides made against racial discrimination and segregation, and perhaps these are no longer the main causes of poverty in depressed areas, but, regardless it is still a war that needs to be fought by all. Just as MLK fought for everyone's rights, not just African Americans, as Americans its our duty to look out for all of brothers and sisters.
"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing..."Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!