The office of Student Diversity and Inclusion hosted the 34th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration. The celebration started with a march at Texas State on Jan. 18, starting at Old Main students, faculty and San Marcos residents walked across campus to attend the commemoration program in the LBJ ballroom.
The program began with an overview of Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equality introduced by Titus Todd, geography urban and region planning junior, and Kirby Glass, history senior.
The commemoration continued with a blessing speech directed by Niya Richardson who asked for the blessing of the Texas State campus during her speech. After the blessing, the spotlight was handed over to student Karagan Mayberry, electronic media senior, who performed The Black National Anthem by James Weldon Johnson.
President Denise Trauth was then welcomed to the podium where she thanked those in attendance and continued her speech by defining the bobcat community as cultivated and inclusive. During her speech Trauth also remarked that any behavior that is not inclusive is not the bobcat way.
After her introduction, the commemoration celebration continued with a skit performed by various students.
As part of the commemoration, the skit played a worried father explaining to his children the struggle of civil right throughout the years. During the skit, the student actors would pause and hand the spotlight to other students who had a song composed to further explain characters like Rosa Parks that were being explained to the children in the skit. Once the skit was over, a lyrical dance performed Jada Owens, theatre junior, to Your Spirit by Tasha Cobbs Leonard.
Lastly a group of students embodied characters like: Fannie Lou Hamer, Marsha P. Johnson, Assata Shakur, Leonard Peltier, Anthony Graves, Kalief Browder and Martin Luther King and gave a small autobiography of the injustice and struggles they faced during their lifetime.
The students found creative ways of portraying the characters to the audience, some students chose to sing, to write a poem and others just to give a speech.
Todd, part of the committee who planned the event, said the skit served as entertainment and a history lesson.
“Students wanted to embody the characters they performed and were self-driven to do their own research on their chosen character,” Todd said.
The skit concluded the hour and a half commemoration.