Signs went up this week on St. De Porres Street in Broussard in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
City leaders say it’s only fitting that a street named for the Peruvian saint of black people, race relations and social justice would be chosen to honor the African-American civil rights leader.
“Both men were named Martin,” said the Rev. Thomas James, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church on St. De Porres Street. “Both of them were men of slaves, but they didn’t give up. Both of them showed courage.”
James encouraged Broussard Councilman Michael Rabon to propose the memorial signs when the elected leader asked the minister what he could do to make a difference in his district during his first year in office. James also told the councilman not to get his hopes up because a similar proposal under a different administration didn’t get very far.
That wasn’t the case this time. The Broussard City Council unanimously passed a resolution in September to put the memorial signs up.
“It went so smooth,” Rabon said. “I still can’t believe it. It passed through like nothing. It really was a blessing.”
Five signs that read “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Drive” are now in place on St. De Porres Street.
“It’s an important street to Broussard,” Bourque said. “It connects (La.) 182 to Albertson Parkway. We have a school there. We have a local church there. We wanted this to be on a significant street in Broussard.”
The first sign was installed Tuesday afternoon at the corner of St. De Porres and Main streets.
“These markers going up here are a sign of diversity and inclusion,” said Broussard resident Tyrone Rogers, who watched the first sign go up Tuesday. “Dr. King along with Saint De Porres — both of them kind of led the way for diversity and inclusion. For our local community, this is huge — for us to feel more a part of things. I’m proud of the progression the city is making.”
The four remaining signs are located on St. De Porres Street at its intersections with Paul Street, Loul Street, Albertson Parkway and Moulin Road.
The project, which is costing about $500, was paid for from the city’s streets budget.
“It’s a move forward for this city,” Rabon said. “Martin Luther King had a dream that we could all move forward, and I think we are doing that.”
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