Kansas City’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams

What began as a simple way to honor a civil rights leader, turned out to become a nearly year long debate in Kansas City.

Daniel R Pauls, Managing Editor

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At the start of 2019, Kansas City Officials took down the name of one of the city’s oldest boulevards, The Paseo, a boulevard running ten miles down one of the city’s largest black neighborhood, and changed the name to Martin Luther King Blvd.

With that the whole city began a debate that the state officials have ignored the street’s historic value and have changed the name without having the proper procedure for the change. However, the other side counter-argued their opponents for being racist.

As of November 5th, the debate has come to a conclusion with a 70% vote in favor to have the name reinstated back to the original ‘The Paseo’ against the 30% who wished to keep the new name.

It’s discouraging to see that a civil rights leaders being denied recognition, especially within a location where the main residents are black citizens.

The original name’s removal can be a confusing transformation for those who have lived on the street their lives along with the neglect to the historic value the street has had for so many years. However, if the whole city of Kansas City really wanted to respect Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while avoiding any strife, they could have renamed another boulevard street near the same site that could have had the name changed and even have the matter brought up in a vote first before having any citizens declaring otherwise.

As for those who have wanted the name changed back, it should be known that whenever a leader for all human rights is being honored, then their work should be recognized and treated with the honor that all civil rights movement meant to give all people.

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