THE FIRST MLK STREET, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

by Kevin Walsh

One-block long Martin Luther King, Jr. Place, which runs from Marcy to Tompkins Avenues a block south of Flushing Avenue in Bedford-Suyvesant, might seem inconsequential, but it was the first street in NYC named for the famed civil rights titan, who was murdered on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN. It was renamed in 1974.

Ironically its old name, Floyd Street, marked the only street in the area named for a signer of the Declaration of Independence from New York, William Floyd (1734-1821). The William Floyd Parkway in his adopted home of Brookhaven in Suffolk County will have to suffice. His descendants include guitarist/singer David Crosby and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld; Abraham Lincoln was a distant cousin.



Al Trojanowicz January 22, 2013 - 3:13 am

One block south of Park Avenue

ron s January 23, 2013 - 11:27 am

It has been noted by others before, but it is interesting and sometimes sad that the avenues renamed for MLK in cities across the country are often run down streets in run down neighborhoods. The attempt to honor MLK with a Boulevard may not end up looking like an honor.

therealguyfaux January 23, 2013 - 2:59 pm

I want to say it’s Chris Rock, although I’m not sure about it– in any event, I remember an African-American comedian doing a bit about “Hey, white folks, want to find out, when you visit/move to a city you’ve never been to before, where the ‘Ghet-TOH’ is? Just look on the map for ‘Martin Luther King Boulevard’– trust me, it never fails! Only some jive-ass bureaucrat would think to name a street after a peace activist, in the most violent part of town, thinking he’s doing something for the black folks!”


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.