Lewes Church Asking To Rename A Historic Street After A Historic Figure
LEWES, Del.-The Friendship Baptist Church in Lewes has been asking to rename Fourth Street in honor of Martin Luther King Junior. While the move was presented to Lewes city council on Monday night, the city deferred taking action on the proposed name change.
Advocates say Fourth Street has been the center of the black community in Lewes.
"It is just a sign to hang beneath the 4th street sign. It doesn't seem like we are asking very much, to say we honor the African American community," explains Charlotte King.
George Edwards is the reverend for Friendship Baptist Church and he was the one to ask Lewes officials on considering to rename Fourth Street. Edwards says he presented Mayor Ted Becker a petition signed by more than 100 people in favor of renaming the church. He mentioned how more than 700 towns and cities worldwide have named a street to honor MLK.
During the council meeting, some people expressed concern that changing the name could confuse people. The city says they want to hear from everyone first before making a decision.
"We are getting feed back from the people that live along 4th street. We want to ask people who would have that information, and that signage on the street. I think its just an opportunity for us to make a better informed decision from the public," says Mayor Ted Becker.
Alicia Jones says the MLK name is very important to her. However she believes other street names in the area are reminiscent of slavery in America.
"Every time I go down that road it bothers me to see it say Plantations Road. I also go down Kings Highway and see the presidents that were all slave owners," mentions Jones.
The city of Lewes say they are open to the idea of name change, but they say the logistics need to be worked out. Mayor Becker says with changing any street would require DelDOT's approval.
Rev. Edwards says while he wants to see this street change soon, he will remain hopeful.
"I don't know if I will live to see it or not but i believe it will happen. So I'm not giving up," explains Edwards.
The next meeting is scheduled for December 2nd at 6 p.m. The city of Lewes says they will make a decision on December 9th, a week after the meeting.