Students prepare for annual commemorative march
Martin Luther King Jr. took steps to change unjust situations when he was faced with them, and the civil rights leader’s actions have inspired students today to follow in his footsteps.
On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated for being an activist and leader of the Civil Rights Movement, which aimed to stop prejudice against black people in the United States.
Monday is marked as a national holiday in remembrance of King and his brave efforts. Every year, members of MSU and Greater Lansing communities come together to march in King’s honor. The march starts at the Union, pausing at Beaumont Tower and ending at the MSU Museum.
“This is my fourth time attending (the march),” said Patrice Wright, history senior and vice president of MSU’s Black Student Alliance. “It’s something I look forward to every year.”
The march is meant to resemble the freedom marches of the 60s, according to MSU’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.
It is part of Project 60/50, a campaign launched by the university in 2014 to bring people together to discuss diversity and civil rights.
“My ancestors really had to go through some things so that I could have the opportunity ... to attend institutions, to have the right to vote and to just be in a better society of people who are just a little more understanding,” Wright said.
Wright was impacted by the keynote speakers at the marches in previous years. Last year, Ernest Green spoke out about his experience of being a Little Rock Nine member and speaking with King at his high school graduation.
Michael Storay, an interdisciplinary studies in social science senior and member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity heard Green speak at the march last year.
“It was good to see somebody who was well into the Civil Rights Movement come speak at Michigan State, which is an honor to have had him,” Storay said.
Wright and Storay recommend all students attend the march.
“It doesn’t always pertain to one race,” Storay said. “It pertains to the greater human race. ... It’s something that every ethnicity should come out (to).”