CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – A controversy has erupted in Charleston over the proposed renaming of a prominent street. A group of citizens is asking the city council to rename Court Street downtown, in honor of civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The area of the city used to be heavily populated by minorities, but many were displaced by the intersection of three interstate highways and the construction of hotels and the business district.
“We believe that renaming the street after Dr. King would be an appropriate tribute. And it would be a reconciliation with regard to those communities who were displaced,” said Charleston Attorney Kitty Dooley.
A number of people say they are opposed to renaming the street but did not want to go on camera. A church located on court street also opposes the change.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech in Charleston in 1960 as part of the Civil Rights Movement. A city council committee will discuss the proposal on December 16, 2019.