Jonothan Tilove had been covering race for the Newhouse News Service for more than ten years when he approached an editor about this piece, one he had been envisioning for some time. Newhouse sent Tilove and a photographer across the country to visit the various Martin Luther King streets in different cities coast to coast. They found that if you map the nation's MLK streets, as Tilove writes, "you map a nation within a nation, a place where white America seldom goes and black America can be itself. It is a parallel universe with a different center of gravity and distinctive sensibilities, kinship at two or three degrees of separation, not six."
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