Policy on renaming city streets worked in honoring Dr. F.D. Reese

Published 5:26pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The city of Selma’s street naming process is one many people disagree with.

In many ways it is too lengthy, too costly and plays ways too much politics.

But, there is a method to their madness.

Selma is not like any other city — or town. It is Selma, it is unique and in many ways, we are thankful for that “uniqeness.”

Many years ago, most people could not find another place in the country where Martin Luther King Street intersected with Jefferson Davis Avenue.

Selma was one of those places where the two intersected. Imagine the picture opportunity that intersection presented to those looking for a unique — if not ironic — crossing. One man dedicated to unity and peace, the other dedicated to keeping the country divided.

Today, thankfully, what was once Jefferson Davis Avenue is now named J.L. Chestnut Boulevard, honoring a man nearly everyone agrees deserved the honor.

In the past few years, there have been attempts to rename other streets, only to see those attempts failed. Those attempts did not fail because the individual to be honored was controversial or not worthy, it was the fact residents along that street did not want the change. In the end, it’s there right; a right given to them by the council’s amended street naming policies.

Recently, the process worked perfectly.

The dedication last week of Dr. F.D. Reese Street showed everything that is right with the naming — or renaming — of city streets. The process advocates went through was thorough and the icon the street was named after had the opportunity to see a street — formerly Legrande Street — be renamed in his honor.

And, let’s be honest, the least this city can do for Dr. Reese is rename a street for him. And while he is as humble a man as they come, he is so richly deserving of this and any other honor.

In the end, the process of renaming streets in Selma is clunky and takes too long. But, in a city as unique as Selma, it’s understandable.

We’re just glad the process worked and Dr. F.D. Reese Street exists.

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