Is Dr. King's dream alive on MLK Boulevard?

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the words he hoped would deliver a nation to equality. Whether that has happened depends on who you ask.

Driving down Martin Luther King Boulevard, it's far from a dream. Some blocks you can't help but notice rundown, abandoned and empty buildings. This area has seen better days.

"The history of MLK Boulevard was nothing, but teachers in this area. We had one librarian and she lived right there," said neighbor Keith Johnson.

How this area ended up like this is a mystery. News 12 spent the day talking with two men on two separate ends of the same street. News 12 wanted to find out if Dr. King's dream is alive on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

"The dream has been fulfilled, but now we have to carry out," said Rev. Eugene Johnson Jr.

"I think as a race we dropped the ball. We haven't completed Dr. King's dream," said business owner James Rouse.

He sells shoes while Rev. Johnson pastors First Mount Moriah Baptist. They have different stories and different opinion on race relations today.

"That's the dream right there, black kids and white kids going to school together, that's the dream right there," said Rev. Johnson.

"That might be true, but the banks have never been for blacks. we have a hard time getting things financed," said Rouse.

Both agree the demolition of Cherry Tree Apartments, new businesses and million-dollar road investments on 15th and MLK will continue to improve the area.

Ultimately, they say it's about coming together.

"When everybody as one, sees each other as equal," said Rouse.

"We shouldn't separate the lines. It's no difference whether we're black or white, Jew and Gentile. We're all the same; when we learn that, the better off we will be," said Rev. Johnson.

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