In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a candlelight march was held on campus Monday night and a crowd assembled in the Black and Gold Room to honor the memory of the humanitarian and civil rights leader. It was a fellowship like no other, singing Negro spirituals while many locked arm in arm as brothers and sisters for the cause.
“We decided to host a march in honor of Dr. King because if it is one thing he did well it was march,” said Busby Sanders, a senior from Grand Prairie, Texas.
“In those times, protesting injustices was done through marching although sometimes these marches were not as peaceful as the one we held today,” the computer science major said.
Dwain He’bert, coordinator of the march, was eager to celebrate the greatness of Dr. King.
“Let us take this time to remember what those before us fought for, let us remember what our founders worked for, and most importantly, let’s take this time to remember what MLK Jr. was all about,” said He’bert, a Desoto, Texas, native double majoring in military and political science.
When speaking of Dr. King it is difficult to look past his many great accomplishments. As a product of an HBCU, not many people would expect any less.
Dr. King was a man of integrity and humility. The things he stood and fought for during the Civil Rights Movement are a myriad of the same controversies African Americans are still fighting for, such as basic rights to a fair justice system.
Dr. King was the embodiment of young, brilliant and powerful; probably one of the reasons he is still the only native born United States citizen with their own national holiday.
The same can be said for councilwoman G.S. Dupree, who at 26 years old is among the youngest city councilperson the city of Grambling has ever elected.
However, like Dr. King, she is wise beyond her years, and she is willing to thrust herself into the community to get the results she desires.
In comparison to Dr. King, Councilwoman Dupree aims to enlighten young people about the countless growing concerns surrounding the community of Grambling.
“I seek to inspire the young people in the community to use their youthfulness to their advantage. I believe that as the youth we should not just step out when it is convenient for us, but we should rise up even when we are afraid,” said Dupree.
Miss Grambling State University Joiya Smith also had something to contribute to the conversation.
“Sometimes we falsely tend to think we have to be older or have more money to make a change or influence a group of people, when in actuality we just need the passion and the will,” said Smith, a digital art major from Bogalusa, Louisiana.
Dupree agreed about the influence young people have.
“We are more powerful than we know because we like to do things our own way,” the councilwoman said, “and with tools like social media websites Twitter and Facebook we have been doing just that.”
The councilwoman and other leaders in the community pulled strength from Dr. King Jr.’s motivation. New up-and-coming activists have often wondered how Dr. King talked himself into constantly moving forward despite the gargantuan amount of negativity surrounding him. He pushed forward regardless of possible jail time, death, injuries, etc; it is paramount to never forget leaders like Dr. King.