As long as I can remember, Martin Luther King Dr., to me, has been the street of dreams. Named after one of the biggest dreamers of our time, Dr. King’s spirit and the spirit of his dream has lived in the hearts of the members of the eastside San Antonio community.
To catch the essence of the eastside of San Antonio one must start on Martin Luther King Dr. Anything and everything worth experiencing on the eastside can be seen while on Martin Luther King Dr. Famous for being the route of the annual Freedom March that has taken place every January since 1987, the biggest march in the US, Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. is filled with colorful places and colorful people to inhabit. The spirit of the people and the community resides along this very street.
I didn’t grow up on this street. On the contrary, I grew up many miles away on the other side of San Antonio. But as a writer, I draw much of my inspiration for my storytelling from the rich history of this street and this community. My family and friends are members of this community. My maternal grandparents are residents, living right off of Sterling Dr. and Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. down the street from Martin Luther King Jr Academy and the Boys and Girls Club. Right across the street sits a beautiful mural depicting Dr. King giving his famous 1963 “I have a Dream” speech. Further in the other direction under the bridge next door to the MLK gas station is my father’s bail bonds business where it has been for as long as I can remember.
My father is a prominent bail bondsman on the east side. Everyone knows his name, therefore everyone knows mine. I remember numerous days spending with him up at his office, watching him help anyone that walked in the door needing his help. I also can remember the various barbecues that took place, and continue to take place. From MLK Day to Back to School, the lot comes alive with good food, good music, and good conversation. People travel far and wide to Available Bail Bonds right there on Martin Luther King Dr.
Following the street and passing the numerous churches, apartments, and houses, one approaches a bridge held up by two walls displaying an artistic mural on each side; DREAM on the left and PEACE on the right. Schools ranging from charter school IDEA Academy to higher education institution St. Phillip’s College, the only historically black college in San Antonio, also reside here.Martin Luther King Dr. ends at Pitman Sullivan Park, a community center with a majestic view of San Antonio landmarks the Tower of Americas and the Alamodome. Following Martin Luther King Dr. leads one to the backbone of the city. It is by no means a coincidence the street runs right through the heart of the eastside community. The lifeline of the dream from the man it was named after.
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