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Merchants association takes action to run Bessie Smith Strut

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Photo by Gary Poole/WRCB-TV Photo by Gary Poole/WRCB-TV

CHATTANOOGA, TN. (Times Free Press) -- The Bessie Smith Strut may lead to the resurrection of a loosely knit group that has been officially defunct for the last five years.

The M.L. King Merchants Association has been mentioned as a candidate to take over the role of managing the 30-year-old blues block party, held each June on M.L. King Boulevard. The Rev. Jeffrey Wilson, a community leader, said the group may be able to handle that responsibility.

"This has sparked a whole lot of discussion," Wilson said. "This has sparked a fire."

A firestorm from the public has erupted in the last week since Littlefield decided to move the Strut from M.L. King Boulevard to the Riverbend site. The mayor has cited issues of public safety and better control in light of recent violence that has flared in Chattanooga.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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