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MLK remembered during march

Community gathers to hear of MLK’s non-violent struggle for change

By By Karson Sharp
On January 26, 2016
MLK remembrance march

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha march across campus to honor Martin Luther King. After the march,
members displayed an image of King during a memorial speech.
The Lion's Roar/Karson Sharp

A large procession crossed the campus recently, including students, university officials and others who wanted to honor the memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Moving swiftly over the many sidewalks of campus, the marchers filled the air with cries of, “United we stand, divided we fall.” 

The march took place on Tuesday evening, January 19, and moved from the Pedestrian Tunnel near North Campus to the Hurricane Katrina and Rita Memorial Fountain. After crossing the campus, marchers formed a crowd near the fountain, The Men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. gave a speech about the life, deeds and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The speech explained, Dr. King used nonviolent protest tactics to create change in an atmosphere of overwhelming oppression. Though he sometimes encountered violence, King never wavered from his dreams of liberation and harmony.  

The march was supported by the Office of Multicultural and International Student Affairs, The Men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.and University President Dr. John Crain, who was in attendance. Student Engagement official Kyle Gallagher  was in attendance and praised the nonviolent policies of Dr. King.

“Generally, [what inspires me] Dr. King’s policy of nonviolence in the face of overwhelming oppression, and hate and physical violence, he stayed true to his principle of nonviolence,” said Gallagher. “It struck me because in a society today where everybody feels like they have to get somebody back for some injustice that is done to them, you really need to stop and think about what all he had to go through, and yet, he persevered in nonviolent protest.”

Gallagher also commented on the number of the students in attendance.  

“It was a good turnout, but as always, you can have even more people who can come and hear about what effect he’s had on basically our society and the men of Alpha Phi Alpha would be better,” said Gallagher. “But it was a good turnout regardless.”

However, others in attendance also had opinions to share. Marcher and alumni of Alpha Phi Alpha Kappu Nu chapter Jeremy Lloyd shares his opinion.

“Me particularly, I believe it was his message of equality and love that I have also adopted for myself,” said Lloyd.  “I believe he said, ‘I decide to choose love, because hate is too strong a burden to bear.’ That’s a quote I live by because it teaches people to love each other, the golden rule, do unto others as they would do unto you, things like that.” 

The march, occurring the Tuesday after MLK Day, was right on the heels of the holiday. Marchers and those who organized the march explained that it was designed to be as close to MLK Day as possible, and the evening was chosen so as many people as possible could attend the march. Marchers considered this year’s remembrance walk a success and will be holding another at the same time next year.

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