MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

November 2, 2013

Civil rights pioneer worthy of street honor

Naming a street after a Muskogee native who earned an international reputation for her humanitarianism, civil rights work and broadcasting career is something that we can all cheer.

Xernona Clayton, a 1948 Manual Training High School graduate, worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. starting in 1965.

Clayton launched her broadcasting career two years later and became the first black in the South to have her own television show, which opened the door for other minorities in the field.

The segment of North Third Street that will be renamed stretches from Martin Luther King Street north to Girard Street. A street dedication ceremony is planned to coincide with Clayton’s visit in January for a King Center fundraiser.

Clayton told the Phoenix the fact that the street being named in her honor will intersect with Martin Luther King Street and run adjacent to a community center named after him is symbolic of her life. She called the renaming “an honor that is beyond measure.”

The fact she is humbled to have a street named after her in her hometown speaks volumes of her sincereness.

A lot of people are unaware of who Clayton is, and what she has accomplished.

Naming a street after her is a great way for people to learn who she is and how much significance she has on American history.

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