Keep Walking America
The MLK Community March & Festival
by MP Mueller
For many years I officed on East 11th Street. On one January day, every year, we would be awakened from our computer screen slumbers by the joyous music wafting up from the street below. We would gather at the windows and shimmy to the infectious beats, waving to the marchers whose warm spirits never gave physical acknowledgment of the deep winter’s chill. The MLK Day March is always a celebration of community. And, it is a lovely testimony to Dr. King’s legacy of peace and unity to see Austinites, of all backgrounds, come together to celebrate him.
This year’s festivities begin on Thursday, January 12 with an MLK-themed oratory contest for young speakers. Then, on Monday, January 16, the annual march takes place, starting with a short program at 9 am at the MLK statue on the UT campus. From there, marchers will wend their way to the Texas State Capitol with more remarks planned on its steps. Continuing on East 11th Street, the march ends at Huston-Tillotson University and that’s when the tempo shifts again with the start of the MLK Community Festival. Vendors, local musicians, food and celebration will take place on the campus.
Sixty years on, Dr. King’s wisdom continues to resonate; his words flowing forward, finding new audiences and meaning. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” It was a call to action then and it is a call to action now. Hope to see you there.