Campbell Road to get MLK designation

Published 8:55 am Friday, November 24, 2017

Everyone wasn’t happy, but Mocksville Town Board members earlier this month agreed to re-name its portion of Campbell Road Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Road.

The decision was unanimous, as was a decision a couple of months earlier to deny a request to rename Depot Street in memory of the slain Civil Rights leader.

Davie County is considering re-naming the remaining portion of Campbell Road, said Town Manager Marcus Abernethy.

Alice Brown, a member of the Davie NAACP which had made the original request, said a majority of members are on board with the change to Campbell Road. “A large majority has embraced Campbell Road. A street name recognition is long overdue. Something is better than nothing.”

The town had set up a committee to study the issue after the denial of Depot Street. It included board members Lash Sanford and Brent Ward, planning board members Connie Kowalski and Steve Dulin, Julius Suiter and Brown.

“Thank you very much for allowing us to go through with this,” Suiter said. “A great number of people are in favor of making this change. It’s not just for us, it’s for those children who will come.”

Campbell Road is the home of Central Davie, the historically black school for Davie County, as well as three predominately African-American churches.

Nettye-Ijames Barber, who lives on Campbell Road but operated her business for many years on Depot Street, said such re-naming of streets are often controversial and expose racial divisions. Business owners along Depot Street who complained about the expense of changing addresses were all white.

“We seek to make historical claims to the South by removing signs of the Confederacy,” she said. “From the Civil War to Civil Rights, naming a street must be a widespread effort.”

Thomasine Gaither also said she didn’t want the ugly head of racism to rise again. She was in high school when segregation ended, and remembers the divisions that caused. “That’s history. I don’t want to revisit that. We don’t want to go backwards. We can all be in unity in Davie County. We’re going to need each other.”