Portion of U.S. 60 renamed in honor of Ky. civil rights leader

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A civil rights icon from Kentucky is being honored.

Whitney M. Young, Jr., born in Simpsonville, was the head of the National Urban League and was at the forefront of racial integration and African American economic empowerment.

On Monday, many came out to honor Young as a portion of U.S. 60 was renamed in his honor.

A dedication ceremony took place at the now titled Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center in Simpsonville. The renaming comes one year following the 50th anniversary of his death.

Young was one of the “Big Six” of the Civil Rights Movement, which included Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, John Lewis, and A. Philip Randolph. He was a social worker and worked to end employment discrimination in the South and pushed the National Urban League to aggressively fight for justice.

Young died at the age of 49. His nephew was at the ceremony.

“With all that he did, he wasn’t even 50 years old when he died,” Young’s nephew Herman Dubose said. “Imagine what he could have done if he lived a little longer. He had such a profound impact on his country. The naming of the highway is more than a changing of words on the sign. It’s more than U.S. 60 to Whitney M. Young Memorial Highway. It’s paying honor and respect to one’s life who tried to improve and better conditions of all the people of this land.”

People were able to take a trolley ride tour along along the entire stretch of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. memorial highway from the Jefferson/Shelby County line to its intersection with Montclair School Road in Simpsonville.

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