Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Destene Savariau – News Writer
Sole Scott – Contributor
In honor of Black History Month, the University and the Multicultural Center collaborated to hold an event in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy.
The event opened with Dian Albert-Brown, Director of Multicultural Affairs, highlighting the importance of Dr. King and the freedom he symbolizes to the African-American heritage.
“This event was important because King’s legacy encourages us to reflect on our actions and how far things have come and how much work is left to be done,” said Albert-Brown.
After Albert Brown, there were various speakers from many organizations on campus. From Diane Ariza of the DEI to Winston Bethune of the Black Student Union.
Bethune, the Event Coordinator of the Black Student Union, said he was glad that the event gave him the opportunity to speak in front of a community he is actively trying to serve.
“This event shined a light on the greatness that Brother king inspired as a society,” said Bethune. “It was important because sometimes the work that has happened in black history sometimes goes unnoticed.”
Actor John Ivey elaborated on the missing parts of black history through his performance of “From Myth to Man: Martin Luther King, An Interpretation.” Written by Ira Knight, the play is an original one-person play about Dr. King’s final moments.
“The play was beautiful and very powerful. It helped us see and appreciate King as a human and not just someone who sacrificed himself for our benefit,” said Albert-Borwn.
Psychology major Stephen Ibekwe, a junior, highlighted what he liked best about the event and what stayed with him the most.
“I liked the performance of the African-American Anthem by Thamar and the African Student Association Dance Team’s performance and Winston’s speech was dope.”
“I think the event was amazing. It was great to see so many different communities and voices come together to highlight a man as important as Dr. King,” said Student Government Association President Kyle Thaxton.
Nevertheless, a great event has its few critics. With most of the crowd built up of faculty and alums, students of color felt underrepresented.
“It would’ve been nice to see more black student leaders speak,” said business major Ryan Williams, a freshman.
Psychology major Elijah Kapene-Kabwit, a freshman, felt the event needed to be advertised more to its students of color.
“They advertise all these other events so much, but don’t keep the same energy with an actually important event like this. If I wasn’t on the ASA dance team, I wouldn’t have known,” said Kapene-Kabwit.
With this in mind, Bethune poses a question for the community to reflect on.
“After this event, we must ask ourselves, have we reached the dream that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had or have we strayed from it?” said Bethune.