Rededicated MLK statue ignites hope for change for struggling neighborhood

ST. LOUIS - A north St. Louis City community that is determined to take back its struggling neighborhood is demanding better economic and educational resources along with more policing.

Wednesday, in a rededication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. statue, people living in Fountain Park believe that it will serve as a symbol that could help them bring that kind of change.

“Martin Luther King has always preached about peace and love and happiness and standing for each other no matter your color your creed, he would want that to have unity especially in our neighborhood,” said Mortina Louis.

It’s a neighborhood that some people said has been struggling for many years even when it sits close to some of the area’s most exclusive communities.

“We do have problems with drugs I don’t know what it’s going to take to get rid of it,” said Morton Taylor, “and the majority of the people in this neighborhood are middle-income people.”

Compared to the nationwide controversy over Confederate statues and most recently, the Christopher Columbus statue in Tower Grove Park, in a stark contrast the refurbished MLK memorial for many people living is symbolic in the call for action.

“We are advocating for anything that makes a person whole whether that’s from the education for the community or quality education for our children,” said Pastor Derrick Perkins with the Centennial Christian Church Disciples of Christ. “We are hoping the public servants will make some commitments to providing resources and support to stand with the neighbors.”