For more than 20 years the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Johnson City has tried to get a street renamed after the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"It's going on over 20 years, of people trying to get this street named," said Joyce Goines, NAACP President of Johnson City and Washington County, Tennessee chapter.
In the past year, Joyce Goines and other members have tried to get two major thoroughfares in the city renamed after the civil rights icon -- the first on Legend Street, and more recently on Buffalo Street in Johnson City.
But last week, the Johnson City Planning Commission offered a new recommendation to pave a brand new road. "We were offered an access road leading to the Veteran Administration campus. It's going to go around the cemetery and leads right into the VA. From what I understand, it's going to be beautiful," said Goines.
Longtime pastor and former vice-mayor of Johnson City Reverend C.H. Charlton tells us the road's completion will send a message to everyone in the city. "With Dr. King you were not talking about a separatist, you were talking about somebody who wanted to pull people together, and live together as Americans and celebrate the freedoms that we have. I think it shows that our city is willing to honor somebody who really is deserving of honor," said Rev. Dr. C.H. Charlton.
Goines tells us the road will start at West Market and end at Ashe Street. It should be complete by the end of the year.
Goines adds that the NAACP would have had to pay the cost for the sign changes on Buffalo and Legion streets, but the city plans to take care of the entire cost for completing the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.