University of Tennessee Professor’s Research on Streets Named for Martin Luther King Jr.

ut_seal_orange_whiteDerek Alderman, a professor of geography at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, has conducted a study on streets named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His research shows that there are more than 900 streets named for Dr. King. The 900 streets are predominantly in the southeastern United States, where much of the civil rights movement took place. There are 10 states in which there are no streets named after Dr. King.

Professor Alderman found that there has been widespread opposition to naming streets after Dr. King in predominantly White areas. “Street names are powerful symbols of identity,” says Dr. Alderman, “and some people are very unwilling to give up that identity. It’s all about protecting space, which can be a racial issue. It’s a protection of racial boundaries and racial power.”

As a result, a great many of the streets named after Dr. King are in predominantly Black neighborhoods. “It’s a bitter irony,” Professor Alderman says. “We’re commemorating a man who battled against segregation by segregating his memory.”

For more information on Dr. Alderman’s research. visit

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Tuskegee University Flight School Receives $6.7 Million in Federal Funding

With a $6.7 million investment from the federal government, Tuskegee University will launch a new bachelor's degree in aviation science. The program will teach students about aviation science and technology and provide them with flight school training.

Three African Americans Appointed to University Faculty Positions

The faculty appointments are Dexter Blackman at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Stephanie Henderson at Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and Yolanda Pierce at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Virginia State University Approved to Launch Master’s Degree in Data Analytics

The master's degree in data analytics will prepare students to use data to make strategic technology and business decisions. The new degree program will be the 14th established master's degree at Virginia State University.

Samuel Frimpong Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Mineral Industry Education

Dr. Frimpong was honored by the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration with the 2024 Mineral Industry Education Award. He currently serves as a professor of mineral engineering, the Robert H. Quenon Endowed Chair, and vice provost for graduate education at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Featured Jobs