Over a hundred participate in the 27th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom March

This was the first year the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom March returned in person following two years of being virtual.
KBTX News 3 at Six Weekday EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 4:58 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Bryan-College Station community put on their walking shoes Monday morning and came out to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This was the first year the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom March returned in person following two years of being virtual. The local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has hosted the march for 27 years. They were originally inspired by a march in San Antonio.

Participants rallied at Sadie Thomas Park and made their way to Rudder High School’s football stadium for speeches and a program.

Agnes Gray, MLK March coordinator said despite it being a holiday people came out to show their support instead of staying home and watching TV.

“They’re keeping the life of Martin Luther King, his dream, his message, we’re trying to keep that alive,” Gray said.

Over a hundred community members participated in the march which included Bryan ISD, College Station ISD and several churches and local organizations.

“It feels wonderful to be with people, your friends, and with everybody,” Gray said. “You’re not talking about what color you are, we’re all about one message and that’s being together and under one human race.”

The crowd was mixed with first-timers and those who have made it a long-standing tradition. Sylvester Smith, the pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, has participated in the march for 13 years.

“I’m here because this is a big day,” Smith said. “History is continuing to be made and we are continuing to strive to make sure history continues to live out the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King because of what he means to this country.”

This year’s speaker was Donnie Nelson Jr. Reverend of St. James Baptist Church. Nelson has participated in the march for the past 17 years as a marcher and song leader. He said it was a great honor for him to be the speaker.

“I think it’s important to have these events to keep people reminded that we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go, but this is to show our appreciation and our homage for those who were in the civil rights fight like Dr. King,” Nelson said.

Despite a cloudy sky and a bit of rain, it didn’t stop people from celebrating and honoring the legacy of the freedom fighter.

“No matter how many obstacles are going in front of us we’re not going to let it stop,” Gray said. “We pray that the next generation will see it too and see how important it is to keep people and little children knowing who Dr. Martin Luther King is and why we are where we are in a very diverse culture.”

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