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The Dream Lives On

Half a century has passed–Dr. King’s wisdom as relevant as ever.

Mike Nelson, Staff Reporter

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On the evening of April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Exactly a half century later, on Wednesday, April 4, Cal State LA honored the late civil rights leader with “50 Years After They Assassinated The King”. 

The event was held at 4 p.m., representing the precise time when Dr. King was assassinated at 6 p.m. Central Time 50 years earlier. Taking place in the U-SU Theatre, the event began with a moment of silence. Shortly after, an excerpt of the “I have a Dream” speech was played to all in attendance. 

Frederick Smith, Director of the Cross Cultural Centers, spoke about Dr. King:

“I think the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his partner, Coretta Scott King, are important for us as a campus community to remember that their work was not only about achieving a dream, but was also about addressing issues of injustice in our United States’ society.” 

Various other speeches by King were played during the event and students had the opportunity to learn more about those speeches. 

Dr. King still has a significance to individuals on campus and one of the main topics of the event was showing how Dr. King’s work can still be applied in 2018. The commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated the importance for students at Cal State LA to celebrate him during times of struggle for minorities in the U.S. 

The event gave an opportunity for students to reflect on the work of Dr. King as well as discussing what he represented to them. Many students shared their personal anecdotes on Dr. King’s significance to their everyday life. Alexandria Edwards, senior Pan-African studies and Psychology Major, talked about the power in Dr. King’s message:

 “He spoke for everyone behind him. He was the public face and he wrote those speeches together as a community. It is so instrumental today to go back and reflect how our ancestors moved forward as a Black community.” 

Plenty students voiced similar opinions during the discussion session. The topic of King being sometimes forgotten and not given enough credit was one of many things discussed. 

“Well I just think he was just an influential person in American history,” said Tom Flores, graduate Educational Administration student “We don’t give enough credit to the people who really built this country especially people of color.” 

Dr. King continues to touch the lives of many individuals throughout the country, and is a reminder of the power that the people have, especially as social issues continue to put strain on the country. 

“I think what Martin Luther King Jr. did was very historic and it should be celebrated even beyond these 50 years.” said Eric Estrada, Senior Business Administration Major.

Though he does not physically live today, his wisdom is very much alive.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” said Dr. Martin Luther King.

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