New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Urges Preservation of Camden Home Where Martin Luther King Jr. Lived

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Following reports that a Camden residence once home to Martin Luther King Jr. is at risk of demolition, Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean has joined the effort to preserve this important piece of our state and nation’s history.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

Kean will introduce a legislative resolution urging the property located at 753 Walnut Street to be added to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.

“Martin Luther King Jr. helped lead the civil rights movement, demonstrating how non-violent resistance could be used to challenge racial inequality,” said Kean. “It’s been suggested that Dr. King’s experiences while living in Camden led to his later involvement in the fight to end racial discrimination, segregation and poverty.”

The residence was identified as home of the civil rights leader by amateur historian Patrick Duff, who determined King resided there in the early 1950s while studying at the former Crozer Theological Seminary.

Duff found police reports and news articles identifying King and another student as being involved in an incident with a cafe owner who had them refused service at a bar.

“This former home of Dr. King represents an important link to our nation’s civil rights history that must be preserved,” added Kean. “Adding it to our state’s historic registry will prevent it from being demolished and make it eligible for grants to help with its long-term preservation.”

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