Visiting MLK Drive on the King Holiday - - Jackson, MS

Visiting MLK Drive on the King Holiday

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Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observances took place in cities across the country Monday.

Some events were held on streets bearing his name.

Despite his non-violent stance all too often those roadways are in inner cities where violence often occurs.

On the MLK Holiday Latice Mobley looked through the front door of the family home being renovated on the north end of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive recalling her childhood here and imaging a better future.

"We love our street and we love our neighbors, and we're gonna pray for our young men," said Mobley.

The 50 year old Chicago native first lived here with her grandmother in the 1970's when the street was named Whitfield Mills Road.

"I'm trying to keep my family together right here on Martin Luther King. It is a lot of crime, but I think we have to work as individuals," said Mobley

Mobley lives in Pearl, but will soon be moving into the home while repairs are being made.

She and family members are restoring the inner city home.

"The great grandmother had the house moved from Tougaloo. You know you've got to do something where you're at. Martin Luther King Street, who wouldn't be proud to be a part of Martin Luther King?," said Wayne Galloway who is renovating the family home.

Martin Luther King Jr. Drive runs nearly three miles through Ward Three in Jackson.

There are houses, businesses, stores and numerous churches.

But there is also blight with abandoned houses and apartments.

Razor wire fences even surround some buildings along the street, keeping out criminals.

More than 700 streets in the United States are named after King.

They are mainly in predominately African American neighborhoods and high crime areas.

Is this what Dr. King dreamed?

Mobley said nearly 43 years after his death it could be if neighbors would still look out for each other.

"If we get together and get our young adult men to show some leadership to our young black men then we could you know all of us. Don't ask for help all the time. We can do it ourselves," added Mobley.

The rehabbed home is located near the intersection of Violet Street.

The MLK Jr. Drive homeowners said most residents living in the area have been there for 50 years.

Others have died and left property to their children who either rent the houses or leave them boarded up to prevent intruders.

Mobley said it was once a close knit community that she believes could be brought back to life one family at a time.

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