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Selma March Re-Enactment Honors MLK Jr. Near 50th Anniversary of Death

Rachel Otwell

As we near the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, the Sangamon County Metro 4-H Program recognized him with a "Selma Re-Enactment March." Students marched from Chamberlain Park to the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

The 1965 March to Selma from Montgomery was focused on the Voting Rights Act, which ultimately passed that year. The march has a bloody history - one worth exploring according to Beriah Hemingway, who goes to Lanphier High School. "It's really eye-opening. It's good that we know our history and we should take more time out of our days to learn and know our heritage," she said.

Performers danced and sang as part of the event. Darion Miller read from an MLK speech titled 'Our God is Marching On' - which featured words like, "Yes, we are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us. We are on the move now. The burning of our churches will not deter us. The bombing of our homes will not dissuade us."

While the event left out current politics for the most part, "Mistress of Ceremonies" Jaelyn Logan did give credit to students who also marched over the weekend for stricter gun laws. "They paved the way - not only for their futures, but for ours as well," she said.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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