MLK peace march unites community

Wacoans walked the Suspension Bridge in honor of MLK Day. Photo credit: Joy Moton

Joy Moton | Staff Writer

The voices of more than 100 people could be heard singing “We Shall Overcome” as they walked across the Waco Suspension Bridge for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday. Members of various organizations in the Waco community gathered to celebrate the 21st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace March and Observance.

The Delta Upsilon Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. designed this event to commemorate King’s life and legacy and to demonstrate unity in the Waco community.

The morning began with participants walking across the suspension bridge in the same way that Martin Luther King Jr. led the nonviolent protest marches.

“We call this the bridge of understanding because we cross over and we understand that we are one,” said Hatti McGill, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

After crossing the bridge, representatives from each organization present laid wreaths at the Martin Luther King Jr. park and observed a moment of silence to reflect on King’s death.

“He helped put a nonviolent look on the civil rights movement because a lot of white people thought that the race relations thing was a violent movement and black people were out to get them, but Martin Luther King came in and put a peaceful label on the Civil Rights Movement,” said Chicago junior Montiere Collins.

The day continued with a contest where children from churches and organizations in the Waco community performed dances, steps and songs. The program was designed to get the children involved in celebrating King’s legacy.

“It’s important to know your heritage and understand that things weren’t just given to you,” said Victoria junior Tyra Porter. “People worked very hard throughout history to make things affordable to us.”

In addition to celebrating King’s legacy, the event served to unify and encourage people from the community who are concerned by Trump’s presidency.

“Regardless of how politics divides us, we can still come together to serve the common good which is our community here in Waco,” said Dominque Hill, assistant director for intramural sports at Baylor.

“There’s a dream that Dr. King spoke about in his speech. This march represents the unity that he foresaw for all of us.”