Educating About Sonny Carson

20070601carson.jpg

So the fight over the proposed renaming of four blocks in Brooklyn as Sonny Abubadika Carson Avenue has reached the point where people are threatening to kill each other over it. Is the plan really, as Mayor Bloomberg said, "the worst idea the City Council has had in recent memory"? Maybe, maybe not. There's little more controversial about Carson's positions than, say, Malcolm X's: He freely mixed admirable initiatives (closing down crack houses, fighting police corruption), dramatic ideas (reinterring black slaves in Africa), and the baby-with-the-bathwater nationalist rhetoric. But Malcolm X was infamously "glad" at JFK's death, and he's got a street. Here's an observation we can submit, though — Sonny Carson was, among other things, an expert street renamer. As chairman of the Committee to Honor Black Heroes, he led the fight to rename Reid Avenue after Malcolm X, Sumner Avenue after Marcus Garvey, and Fulton to Harriet Ross Tubman Boulevard. Clever, creating the precedent, eh?

Related: Fighting In the Spirit of Sonny Abubadika Carson [Amsterdam News]