The Crusader Newspaper Group

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial District gentrifies in Charleston, S.C.

By Abigail Darlington, Post and Courior

Turn the corner onto Spring Street from the strip of new hotels and elite restaurants on Charleston’s Upper King Street, and you might notice a green highway sign dangling above the passing traffic.

“Welcome to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial District,” it says, hinting the corridor might be a nexus of the peninsula’s historically black communities.

For a long time, it was.

Spring Street and the parallel Cannon Street were the thriving commercial hubs of a mostly black, middle-class neighborhood throughout the 20th century. In the days of Jim Crow segregation, residents could go see a movie or grocery shop in the area without having to venture into parts of town they weren’t welcome.


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