Hampton bridge renamed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

After a push from local activists, the city of Hampton decided to re-name a bridge in honor of Doctor King

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- What started out as a dream is finally becoming a reality.

The Mercury Avenue bridge to Fort Monroe in Hampton is now called the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial bridge.

The name change comes years after the Southern Christian Leadership Conference wrote to the City of Hampton and requested to honor Doctor King.

State Vice President and Chapter President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Andrew Shannon tells 13News Now they were successful, but then came opposition from people in the community.

Shannon says after debate and compromising, everyone agreed to have the bridge also honor Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory and James Townsend, three slaves who escaped from Confederate forces and sought refuge at Fort Monroe.

President of the Hampton branch of the NAACP Gaylene Kanoyton says the NACCP also advocated for naming the bridge after Dr. King and are excited to finally see it happen.

“It means a lot especially in the climate we're in,” Kanoyton says. “To see us come together and name the bridge after four leaders means a lot.”

Hampton University is also remembering Dr. King. 

Students, staff and people in the community marched on campus Monday morning to honor the civil rights leader. This is an annual march that starts at Emancipation Oak on HU's campus. 

© 2018 WVEC-TV


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