Sunday, September 2, 2012

MLK Legacy Walk

A walk took place on a hot summer day in St. Louis known as "Bringing Our City Together".
It was part of a movement established as the 1st Annual MLK Legacy Walk.

This energetic crowd of marchers peacefully demonstrated their feelings as they approached from the east headed west on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive to Hamilton Ave. The theme was, "Bring Our City Together". This walk was coordinated by Beloved Streets of America, a St. Louis-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in which their primary goal is to revitalize and conserve the streets bearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the company's  7 year study of various MLK streets in America majority of these streets are unsafe, distressed and crime ridden. Predominately blacks live in these low-income under privileged communities where whites and non blacks seldom travel.


Marchers arrive at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and Hamilton Ave.
The intersection of MLK Drive and Hamilton Ave. in St. Louis, MO
I didn't get this man's name but I call him "The flag bearer of our national flag".

1st Annual MLK Legacy Walk in St. Louis, MO, 2012
It was a moving scene as marchers shouted in rhythm," Keep the dream alive... keep the dream alive, Keep the dream alive... keep the dream alive!" in a military-type syncopation.

Walking with purpose and vision, MLK Legacy Walk, St. Louis MO
This march signified something more than just a ceremonial showpiece but inspired and motivated concerned working class citizens that want to make a positive change in their community. The man in the grey t-shirt and sunglasses is 22nd Ward Alderman Jeffery Boyd who is demonstrating his support by marching for a purpose with a vision.

 The woman in the wheelchair is an inspiring sight to behold as her dedication and willingness kept her moving on despite her physical challenge.

Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed gave an exciting and enthusiastic speech. Here is some public service facts about Mr. Lewis Reed: He represented the 6th Ward for nearly eight years. During his time as Alderman, he drafted and passed the first neighborhood based TIF in the history of the city; helped found the organization Bike St. Louis; added hundreds of new housing units throughout his ward and hundreds of millions of dollars in new development; and helped bring $1.7 billion of development to the city.

 Pictured below is President of Beloved Streets of America, Melvin White. His vision is for every street in the United States of America bearing the name of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is vibrant, beautiful and prosperous. "Our goal is to create a Beloved Community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives"
                                    --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Beloved Streets of America President, Melvin J. White
In Melvin's closing speech he made a comparison of the Delmar Loop to Martin Luther King Boulevard. He also talked about cultural awareness, nutrition, green technology and safety. Melvin also talked about turning the grounds he is standing on (pictured above) into a Legacy Corner. The purpose of Legacy Corner is to: further the revitalization of MLK Drive in north St. Louis city; create a venue for community gatherings;  education and artistic programming; enhance community pride; honor heroes, inventors, civil rights activists, local and national individuals and organizations that have positively impacted society (specifically St.Louis); generate revenue for the community to support programs ans services that improve the conditions for residents.

All in all, the music was great as it was a relief to hear positive music with no cussing, killing and misogyny. Several of the guest speakers talked about this 1st annual walk as a "movement" and that it is only going to get bigger. It's time to turn these streets around people and I agree with 22nd Ward Alderman Jeffery Boyd in bringing one or two with you next year. Boyd also made a guarantee about tripling the size of this event and to get the city more involved in the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment