Through the South - Meet Me at MLK Blvd
Last summer I met someone with whom I shared about a slow project I had been working on, with photographing streets named after Martin Luther King Jr. Whenever I travel somewhere I look to find any streets and have found many, even in other countries. The lady encouraged me to pursue it further and make a photo book. In a little bit of time I began looking back through my pictures and trying to find a theme and story beyond just pictures of signs and a street. In the back of my mind has been a quote from Chris Rock, “If a friend calls you on the telephone and says they're lost on Martin Luther King Boulevard and they want to know what they should do, the best response is ‘Run!’” With this I began researching to find more streets and people who live and work around them.
The idea that a street is somewhat synonymous with, “don’t go”, I wonder what happens when you do go. Who will I meet? What am I missing or ignoring if I don’t go?
Starting In Los Angeles
With that, I began charting some trips to visit a large variety of Martin Luther King streets. Some are in well known cities, some little known. While planning trips I also began looking close to home in Los Angeles, getting to meet a former NFL player, Sam Cunningham, who played for USC. USC’s home field is along MLK Blvd in Los Angeles. He played a key role In the breakdown of social barriers in race, via football. Meeting Sam and hearing his story was a big and exciting encouragement.
For October I planned my first official trip to devote a whole week to exploring. What better than to go to the South? Starting in New Orleans, I explored my way around through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and ending in Memphis, Tennessee.
There are many wonderful stories to share from this trip, in meeting some staples in the Civil Rights movement, seeing historical places, seeing current grass roots movements, a random meeting with a celebrity, being welcomed by strangers, and even just seeing some beauty around the South.
Here are a few pictures from the trip.
Next I’m looking at heading to the Pacific Northwest, while also trying to organize a Kickstarter campaign. Over the month since my Southern trip, I came down with pneumonia and have been trying to recover. Please pray for speedier recovery.
If you have any places or suggestions, please feel free to comment them below.