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Economy & Business

Commerce Drive Officially Renamed Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Drive in Jonesboro

Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

A street renaming is official in Jonesboro.  After months of contentious debates, the Jonesboro’s city council passed an ordinance that called for the renaming of a city street after the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.  That process was finalized Monday as Commerce Drive in east Jonesboro became Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Drive.  Special Assistant to the Chancellor at Arkansas State University Dr. Lonnie Williams says the process of the street renaming shows there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in Jonesboro.  

"During the process, we learned we have a long way to go to continue to work in this community and across the country.  This does show that Jonesboro is trying to make a huge step forward."

Those who witnessed the event said it was culmination of several years of hard work to get a street renamed after the late civil rights leader.  One citizen on the committee that worked to change the name of the street was Sandra Combs.  Combs stated she was ecstatic to see the name change happen.

"This process has been going on for many years and this is worth while to see this day.  It shows all people are valued in this city."

President of the Craighead County N-double-A-C-P Emma Agnew says this was so much more than a name change of a street.

"People may not realize the implications of this, but this is a historical thing and we are glad the city saw the need to vote positively for the street renaming."

Agnew says the renaming makes the city more welcoming to everyone and will help in attracting more people to the region.  The city of Jonesboro is forming a strategic committee to form a Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Freedom Trail as one of several quality of life projects that could come to the city.