On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, the UT Center for Community Engagement, in collaboration with the John L. Warfield Center and The Black Diaspora Archive, held a public screening of “The Making of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard” at the John L. Warfield Center. This pre-recorded Conversations From the Front Porch featured the Austin Black Assembly members Eva June Lindsey, Joel Bennett, and Reverend Freddie Dixon. This group of East Austin activists fought from 1975-1976 to rename 19th Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
A lively conversation with Erna Smith and the members of the Austin Black Assembly followed the screening. Through the members’ stories, a total of 70 community members, students, faculty, and staff better understood the struggle and the complex political and racial tensions that the event fomented. The powerful and moving conversation ended with words of wisdom and encouragement for students.
The UT Center for Community Engagement, John L. Warfield Center, The Black Diaspora Archive, and LILLAS Benson Library would like to thank everyone who attended the event.
To share this story with the University and Central Texas community members, the pre-recorded conversation can be accessed via UT Center for Community Engagement YouTube channel.
We also ask attendees to complete this post-event survey to continue cultivating meaningful connections among residents, community leaders, and other stakeholders in Austin neighborhoods.