Dr. Martin Luther King | St. Louis Public Radio

Dr. Martin Luther King

A stretch of Martin Luther King Drive that houses two furniture-and-appliance stores is seen from atop the old J.C. Penney building between Hamilton and Hodiamont avenues.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On just about any day, a stream of customers arrives at Jaden’s Diner at 4251 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in The Ville neighborhood of north St. Louis. For people from the neighborhood, and for those from other parts of St. Louis, there’s one big draw.

“We’ve got one of the best soul-food places in St. Louis city,” exclaimed Iris Crawford, a cook at the restaurant.

The restaurant can get crowded, especially on Sundays. That’s when the diner offers a glimpse into the once-bustling community of then-Easton Avenue — decades ago an economic powerhouse. Its glory days are long gone, but proud residents hope improvements will come.

Cardinal Ritter student leaders Deja Brown (left), senior class president, and Darius White, sophomore class officer reflected on Dr. King's legacy in April 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On March 14, students Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School walked out of their school and through their Grand Center neighborhood in St. Louis, stopping on the steps of St. Francis Xavier College Church.

Among the Cardinal Ritter students who took part in the walkout, were two members of the school’s student council: Deja Brown, 17, is senior class president, and Darius White, 16 who is a sophomore class officer.

Jabari Blakemore and Anna Murrary Robinson, of the Carnahan High School drum line lead a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march from Wellston to Pine Lawn. Jan. 15, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Almost 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, the key focus of area civil rights leaders is to keep the national leader’s legacy — and message — alive for a new generation.

Which helps explain why state Rep. Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis, sought to rev up Monday’s annual event at the Old Courthouse to mark King’s birthday. Amid all the songs and speeches, Franks focused on the importance of action.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. answers questions at a press conference before his speech at St. Louis University in 1964.
Saint Louis University

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited St. Louis for a speech in early 1957, did he imagine Americans would still be grappling with the legacies of segregation and economic disparity more than 60 years later?

As Americans prepare to commemorate King's birthday on Jan. 15, it is worth noting that the civil rights leader made St. Louis a regular stop for at least a decade.

Farai Chideya, an award-winning journalist and former host of NPR's News & Notes, joins St. Louis on the Air on Friday.
Farai Chideya

Farai Chideya, former host of NPR’s News & Notes, is an award-winning journalist who has worked for CNN, ABC, and most recently FiveThirtyEight. She’s covered every election since 1996 and written several books, including “The Episodic Career: How to Thrive at Work in the Age of Disruption.”

Martin Luther King Jr. statue in St. Louis' Fountain Park (Jan. 11, 2017)
Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Jan. 13 at 1:11 p.m: Some events have been canceled or postponed, due to the weather. Check with specific groups for more information. — Martin Luther King Jr. was born at noon on Jan. 15, 1929, at his family’s home in Atlanta. He was the first son and second child born to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King.

Under his leadership, — from December 1955, until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 — African-Americans achieved significant progress toward racial equality.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

As we reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Martin Luther King Day, sixth-grader Tyrell Survillion finds new personal meaning in King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Survillion is a student at Cote Brilliant Elementary School in north St. Louis and a participant in Mentor St. Louis, a program of the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club. His essay is titled “Keep the Dream Alive” and was written when asked to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech.