In a momentous event on May 4, thousands of people gathered to witness the unveiling of the street sign that is named after former President Barack Obama. The 3.5-mile road named after Obama, which intersects with the Martin Luther King Blvd, has been considered a significant advancement in civil rights and human rights issues.
The historical street name, which replaced the former Rodeo Road, has been proposed by residents from the 10th District of South Los Angeles where it is located, according to City Council President Herb J. Wesson.
“We partnered with the community to make this happen and I’m just so pleased for all of us. It’s a fitting tribute to a great president, one that history is going to be kind to,” Wesson said. “With so much negativity and hatred in the world, it’s good that our community can show nothing but love. This would not have happened if it weren’t for community organizations and all of the elected officials that helped.”
A whole day festival was held in front of Rancho Cienega Sports Center and Park last May 4 to celebrate the street name change. Several people who attended expressed their happiness about it.
“He’s a living legend and it’s an honor for him to have a street in his name,” Ayanna Brown, an L.A. resident, said.
“Obama was a very good president. He was all-positive and today’s event was all positive,” another resident, Bridgett Goss, said.
“This is history! He was the first Black president and someone we can look up to,” Marvin Adams, also from L.A., said.
U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, who often worked with Obama during his presidency, has also expressed her excitement. “King Blvd. running into Obama Blvd. reflects our past struggles and gains and our future struggles. All of the energy that we put into electing Barack Obama, we’ve got to do the same thing again. I’m fired up and ready to go!” she said.
Michael Lawson, CEO and president of the L.A. Urban League who was also Obama’s friend, reminded those who attended the event of the significance Obama and King made in the US and that parents should ensure that “our children’s children know and understand. We can’t forget.”
Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama proclaimed his appreciation for the street naming.
“While Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I are so humbled by this day, we’re still mindful that it’s not about us. It’s about this neighborhood’s next generation and all that we want from them,” Obama wrote in a letter Lawson read during the event.
“We hope they’ll look at these new street signs and find inspiration and all that a group of committed citizens can achieve together and all of you will rally around to build a better community, a better L.A., and a better country where every single one of us can reach our full potential.”