Sikeston community members march to change Main St. to MLK Drive - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Sikeston community members march to change Main St. to MLK Drive

The group says change would bring the community together and help stop violence in town by breaking barriers between races. The group says change would bring the community together and help stop violence in town by breaking barriers between races.
The group "And Justice for All" marched down several streets in Sikeston on Monday. The group "And Justice for All" marched down several streets in Sikeston on Monday.
A group in Sikeston wants to rename Main Street to Martin Luther King Drive. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) A group in Sikeston wants to rename Main Street to Martin Luther King Drive. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) -

A group in Sikeston spent their Martin Luther King Day pushing to change the name of Main Street to honor the late civil rights leader, but not everyone is on board. 

Members at the Jubilee House of Prayer in Sikeston are joining with Larry McClellon, CEO of And Justice for All.

They met Monday morning for a memorial service for Dr. Martin Luther King at the Jubilee House of Prayer.

After the service, they walked down Moore Street to College Street and then to North Main Street.

They say the cold didn't stop them from standing up for their cause, but it also didn't stop others from speaking out against it.

The group says change would bring the community together and help stop violence in town by breaking barriers between races.

McClellon said after the march they will have another program that features Pastor Gail Emanuel, who will be portraying Rosa Parks.

"It's an honor to honor Dr. King," McClellon said.

McClellon said he is passionate about making a difference in Sikeston and believes a renaming of the street will help bring races together and unite the community.

Others say it'd do just the opposite.  

"It would anger a lot of people and you would see a lot more violence breaking out," said Lisa Rose.

"Sikeston has had a lot of scars," McClellon said. "It's time for Sikeston to heal. And I'm going to make sure I do everything I can do."

McClellon also said this wasn't the first time a group has proposed to rename a street to Martin Luther King Drive. Many years ago, a group tried to get North Street renamed Martin Luther King Drive. The idea fizzled out after McClellon said they were told no.

Chief Apostle of New Life New Beginning World Outreach Center Nathaniel Green said he is passionate about seeing change in this community and is determined to see this street name change come to fruition.

"We'll never give up! " Green said. "We'll never give up no matter what the opposition is, our hearts and our minds is into making this community better. We will get the street named after Dr. King."

Jubilee House of Prayer leaders said they feel the location is important, as well.

"When you come off the interstate you come right onto Martin Luther King Drive, " Emanuel said. "Then you have businesses that are there and people wouldn't have to go far. And then it would be a sense of pride for the community."

"We do not want to hide him down under the hill like the first black mayor of this city," McClellon said. "Nobody is going to go over on North Street to see Dr. King Drive."

Donald Fulton Sr. was Sikeston's first black mayor. He took office in 1975 and left office in 1977. A street in Sikeston was later named after him.

"It's time for a change," McClellon said. "And if you don't ask, you're not going to get it. And when you go and try to do something like this and they tell you no one time. You don't stop there."

McClellon said they have contacted the city about the change of the street name. They plan on talking more with the mayor and city council about it, but said their first step is to march to let everyone know how serious and important changing the name is.

Across the nation, there are about 900 streets named after Dr. King.

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