OCEANSIDE — Dozens gathered at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School to start the dedication walk along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Corridor on Feb. 25.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Corridor is a 1-mile stretch of Mesa Drive between Rancho Del Oro Road and Ivey Ranch Road. The corridor is marked by 14 sign sculptures that depict significant accomplishments in the civil rights movement.“The preponderancy of what the city put together to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is in this area,” Reginald Owens, NAACP of North County press and publicity chair, said. “It’s a natural progression.”
In addition to the middle school and public art that honor King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park is also located on the stretch of Mesa Drive recently renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Corridor.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an American national hero and local hero,” Owens said.
During the dedication walk a poem was read at each sculpture and the group chanted, “The journey continues.” There was also an unveiling of two new sculptures that replaced missing ones along the walk.
Renowned artist Roberto Salas, who is known for his public artwork, made the original sculptures and new replacements.
The NAACP of North County raised $14,000 to refurbish the weathered sculptures and replace the two missing pieces of art. NAACP members realized the need to refurbish the 12-year-old sculptures a year ago when the group celebrated Black History Month by walking down Mesa Drive past the sculptures. A decision was made to raise the funds and request that the city rename the corridor.
The balance of funds will be used for a street sign or arch to mark the corridor. Tri-City Medical Center and Wal-Mart were major contributors to the public art project.