As celebrations continue across the nation, The Dunbar Heritage Association hosted the march with events praising the voice and dream of Martin Luther King Jr. The holiday celebrates the 89th birthday of the historic civil rights leader.
Starting Monday’s events, the history of MLK’s legacy was read and celebrated at the LBJ MLK Crossroads Memorial. The memorial honors the historic efforts of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and King, in forging Civil Rights legislation.
From there, pastors, elected officials and residents then marched from the corner of LBJ drive and MLK drive to the Greater Bethel Baptist Church. Behind a banner, and in full solidarity, the Phi Psi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority lead the march to the church.
The program was led by Shetay Ashford, assistant professor in the department of occupational, workforce and leadership studies at Texas State. Ashford introduced the event’s dancers, San Marcos High School ROTC program, the mayor and guest speaker for the celebration.
Following the entertainment and pledge of allegiance, Mayor John Thomaides and Council Member Lisa Prewitt, place 1, read the proclamation before the church, citing King’s legacy and determination.
“The lives that we lead can have a lasting impact on future generations,” Thomaides said. “You are somebody, so help someone else realize they are somebody too. And always, strive to leave a positive and lasting impression on those you come into contact with, each and every day.”
The mayor proclaimed Jan. 15 as MLK Day in regulation with the federal holiday. Ending the event, guest speaker Kenneth White, San Antonio pastor, took the podium.
“Over 50 years ago, Martin Luther King was killed in Memphis,” White said. “The dream was shot at the hotel. But the mistake that they made was the voice is still here. See, they shot the dream, but the voice is still ringing. The voice is still ringing on the mountain tops. The voice was still ringing in the alleys. The voice is still ringing in the communities.”
White challenged the event attendees to use their voice, at every level and for every cause.
“A dream is just a dream, but when they killed the dreamer, the mistake they made was they activated millions of voices,” White said. “Around the country, millions of voices are speaking today because they killed the dreamer 50 years ago. You have to activate the voice Martin left for you.”
The weekend’s events also hosted children’s arts and crafts and other educational moments, reflecting on King. Mittie Miller, the organizer of the event, thanked the sponsors, attendees and committees that made the weekend possible.
MLK celebrations will continue on the Texas State campus. Student Diversity and Inclusion is hosting the 34 Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration on Jan. 18. There will be a march from Old Main at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom.