By Joy Moton | Staff Writer
The Coalition of Black Ambassadors partnered with the department of multicultural affairs to host the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Cashion Banquet Hall.
Even though the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has passed, students said they felt it is important to celebrate his legacy outside of a single day.
“It’s an every day thing because his legacy, what he stood for, what he fought for and what he died for, is something that we should carry on with us for the rest of our lives,” said Houston senior Hailey Franklin, head delegate for the Coalition of Black Ambassadors. “He was about community, he was about helping people, and that’s something we should strive for every day, not just one specific day.”
Dr. Lester C. Newman, president of Jarvis Christian College, gave a speech about the significant roles that education and the church played in King’s success.
“I think one of the big things about this speaker is what he represents through his involvement in education and especially at a historically black institution and the role that it plays in Dr. King’s legacy,” said College Station senior Jamarcus Ransom. “That gets overlooked a lot, and so I think it was important for him to come here and emphasize how privileged we are to have an education and how we can give back.”
Unlike speakers who expound on King’s accomplishments and oratory skills, Newman spoke of King’s shortcomings. Newman described King in his younger years rebelling against his Christian upbringing and giving partial effort toward his education. Newman said an extraordinary man who started off as an average student proved that anyone who has a dream can accomplish it.
“It’s not how you start, young people, it’s how you finish,” Newman said. “Don’t give up on yourself and don’t let others give up on you.”
Newman also discussed the reasons why people honor King. Outside of King’s reminders for America to live up to its values, Newman said above all, people should honor King’s service.
“We have to teach our young people not only about the life of Dr. King, but the importance of serving others,” Newman said.
Dallas sophomore Natasha Nkhama, who was pushed off of a sidewalk and was the victim of a racial slur last semester, said multicultural events like this make significant contributions toward raising awareness about unnoticed problems on Baylor’s campus.
“Being informed about certain things is the first step to making a difference,” Nkhama said. “When events like this are held, I think it’s important to attend and share it because going is a part of informing yourself, and by informing yourself, you help inform others.”
Newman concluded the speech by giving attention to an excerpt from King’s sermon entitled “The Drum Major Instinct.” King imagined what he would want the person giving his eulogy to mention about his life and gave the following words:
“Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize — that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards — that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.”