Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the most influential African-Americans in modern US history. Each January, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of San Antonio organize a march to commemorate his life and to honor his achievements. This is one of the biggest MLK marches in the country. Approximately 300,000 people and communities participate in the San Antonio march every year.
The nearly 3 mile march began at 10 am on Martin Luther King Dr. in downtown San Antonio. Thousands of people brought signs, posters, banners, and other display items. Many “Black Lives Matter” signs were present. One notable sign read, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Signs, posters, and chants are pretty typical for a march. However, this march was somewhat unique because stereo systems on the side of the road were blasting speeches from King. The “I Have a Dream” speech was echoed along the street and some people were playing music and singing songs. The main attitude of the participants in the march seemed upbeat and passionate.
This march included many community organizations and universities which participated. Trinity University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee organized rides to and from the march for students who wished to participate in the march. Many Trinity students find race issues to be important, and which is why the march matters so much to those students.
“Nowadays the march is to show solidarity within the community,” Josephine Van Houten, an international studies major at Trinity, said.
The issue of racial inequality also hits close to the heart for some students. “As an African-American in America it does hit close to home for me,” said Chancie Calliham, a junior and political science major. She further explains that “it’s great to see everyone come together as African-Americans and allies alike just to be here and show support for racial equality and justice in America.”
Other students explained how this march commemorates MLK’s lifetime and what he stood for. Kievan Boudreaux-Bostic, a junior on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee from Trinity’s Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) believed that MLK stood for “Mainly nonviolent protests and loving thy enemy.” Boudreaux-Bostic added that “he [MLK] was a really brave man because it’s hard to be nonviolent especially when people don’t respond with nonviolence.”
Being one of the biggest MLK marches in the country, this march’s high attendee turnout made an impact on lots of communities where the issue of racial injustice matters most to them. The march was nonviolent, just as King advocated.