Kentucky State University faculty, staff and students marched along with hundreds of other community members as part of the March to Move event that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
Participants gathered on Third Street and Capital Avenue before marching up Capital Avenue and ending at the State Capitol steps. As the marchers forged ahead, melodic melodies from the Sons of Thunder Shout Band filled the air, along with chants for justice and equality. The program opened with Dr. King’s last speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” which was first delivered April 3, 1968, at Mason Temple Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
Community leaders from Franklin and other surrounding counties, elected officials and political organizations were among the crowd, which backed into East State Street. Special remarks were made by Frankfort Mayor Bill May, State Representative Derrick Graham ’80, Cara Stewart with the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Kentucky State University Atwood Institute Director Dr. Crystal deGregory, among others.
Although different groups and individuals gathered, all from various walks of life, the purpose was the same – to focus on the purpose of Dr. King’s vision and the meaning behind his death.
“We march because we believe in our right and responsibility to forge a better Commonwealth, a better nation and a more equitable world, in which dreamers see Dr. King’s vision fulfilled,” said deGregory. “Let us rise up with greater readiness. Let us stand with greater determination and let us move on in these powerful days, the days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be. We have the opportunity to make America a better nation.”
Graham recited several powerful quotes spoken by Dr. King, his message reminding those present that they were living and walking in Dr. King’s footsteps.
“Kentucky was the first state to pass civil rights legislation,” said Graham. “We are all better off because Dr. King lived. He carried out the words of Christ in the book of Matthew. ‘If you do it unto the least of these you have done it unto me.’”