"I was proud," Jones said. "I still can remember feeling proud once they did it because it was something to connect with him," she said.
Jones says the change from the historically prestigious South Park Way to King Drive passed without a fight. But other Chicagoans around at the time and involved in the civil rights movement remember it differently.
"I remember that it was a big fight here in Chicago, because most people didn't want to change the name," said Rikki Jones, a civil rights activist.
Jones says there were many reasons for the opposition prior to its June 1968 passage. Since then, the 14+ mile drive has seen many changes. But there's no questioning its history, much of it tied to Chicago's black community and the civil rights movement. The church at 41st and King Drive is part of that; it's one of many places where Dr. King spoke.
"We consider this particular place sacred, because of his legacy and his memory and the fact that his feet were actually in this place," said Georgette Greenlee-Finney of the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church.
It continues to change, now, with new developments blocks away from more blighted areas, but activists like Rikki Jones sees nothing but a positive future ahead.
"We have great young leaders, that will make this look better," she said.
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