A Hampton U. celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Janiece Peterson

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Hampton University put together a series of events to pay respect to him and his legacy.

The morning started off with a march throughout the campus and ended with a ceremony, which was sponsored by the Hampton University National Pan-Hellenic Council and campus Student Activities Office.

Nearly 200 students, professors, and Hampton locals came out to celebrate King’s Legacy. “This march is a way to commemorate all that Dr. King has done, not only for the African-American Community, but for the entire country,” said Eyden Thomas, Miss Hampton

During the march, individuals came together and held hands. They held up signs and sung the Negro National Anthem that was led by the Phi Mu Alpha fraternity.

“While marching, it gave me a feel of what it would have been like if I was there marching right beside Dr. King,” said Sedra Gibbs, a sophomore communicative sciences and disorders major.

The march ended at 11:30 a.m. The ceremony began shortly after at Ogden Hall. It included musical selections, poetry, and a guest speaker.

The guest speaker was Brandon Jones, a youth development director for Newport News Public Schools.

He spoke about four different aspects that individuals should incorporate into their everyday lives in order to honor King’s legacy: where find your passion, value time and experience, dream with action, and be a leader.

Jones said, “Dr. King believed in something bigger than himself. It is important that we do the same.”

As the ceremony came to a close, individuals were asked to stand and hold hands as they sung “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Through the events taken place at Hampton University, the 26th anniversary of the Martin Luther King holiday, affects many individuals and their lives.

“Today is a day to recognize and honor the life of Dr. King and his legacy, as well as, his vision for this whole nation. We must all become the change that we want to see. If we are to go forward, we must first go back,” said Isaiah Stewart, a junior political science major.

The events held at Hampton reminded many of what King did.

Said retired veteran Coleman Dessaso Jr, “Today was a wonderful observance for a man that needs to be recognized for his sacrifices and desires for a better world.”

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications