Baton Rouge street gets historic name

Baton Rouge street gets historic name

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Traveling along East Boulevard in Baton Rouge takes you alongside the Interstate Highway, but now, you'll also be reminded what history took place in this area.

New street signs represent a name change. They were installed Wednesday, December 23.

The six blocks of East Boulevard and some of 9th Street have been renamed T.J. Jemison Boulevard.

The long-time pastor of Mt. Zion First Baptist Church, a civil rights leader, is the name-sake. His actions led Baton Rouge blacks to organize for rides to work in 1953 long before the Montgomery Bus Boycott that's been credited with defining the American Civil Rights movement. Jemison's successful bus boycott was used as Dr. Martin Luther King as a blueprint for how they would do it later in Montgomery.

Rev. Jemison had been president of the National Baptist Convention from 1982 to 1994.

Reverend Jemison died at the age of 95 in 2013. His son Ted Jemison, a Baton Rouge businessman, is the organizer of the T.J. Jemison Foundation, which he plans to use to continue Jemison's civil rights work.

State Senator Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb was among the proponents of the street name change. She said it was fitting that the street in front of Rev. Jemison's church be the one renamed. Now it is there for everyone to see and remember, the history made by Rev Jemison and his church.

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