More than 900 streets across the nation are named for Martin Luther King Jr., and many of those streets are struggling. In St. Louis, drug markets and pawn shops line Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. In Chicago, parts of the 12-mile drive are in bad shape and have serious crime problems. In Miami, MLK Boulevard goes through a poor part of the city that has seen race riots. Says a 17-year-old student there, "I'm sure Martin Luther King didn't have this in his dream. There's a lot of kids dying of gang violence in this community."
Some are calling for more attention to be paid to these streets. "Those street names are really powerful social indicators of how far we've come in really fulfilling the dream, and giving us an indication of where we need to do more work," says one scholar who's studied the streets. In St. Louis, a postal worker has founded a nonprofit working to restore the street, though with limited resources. These streets, says the expert, are "something that remembers the past that actually works, in its own tragic irony, to symbolize where the struggle still is." Click for more from the AP. (Read more Martin Luther King Jr. stories.)