Generation to Generation: Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

By the hundreds, growing to thousands, they marched from Tallahassee's C.K. Steele bus station, named for a man who led the way 50 years ago during the Tallahassee bus boycott, and they didn't stop until they reached the steps of the state Capitol.

It was there they stopped to honor the legacy and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

Tommy Mitchell said as he marched up Adams Street to the Capitol.

"We certainly owe it to a man who gave his life to be an advocate for us. We certainly owe it to celebrate his birthday."

Eulinda Jackson marched with her friends with the LIFE Changers organization.

She said, "It brought back what our forefathers did and just kind of thinking about ourselves, but having a selfless day."

It was a selfless day to remember Martin Luther King's movement for equality and the movement that continues today.

Charles Evans, president of the Tallahassee branch of the NAACP, said changes are on the horizon.

"We believe it's really time for the young people to take over the leadership of the civil rights movement."

Evans added the civil rights movement started in the hearts of the young, reaching a turning point in Tallahassee 50 years ago when two FAMU students refused to give up their seats on a bus. Now the youth of this generation prepare to take action.

Vanessa Baden, a Florida State University student and leader with the Florida NAACP’s Youth and College Division, said, "It's actually been a long time coming, the young people really wanted to have an opportunity to step up into the realm of activism and to step up an make our difference in the world."

Baden said it will difficult, her generation facing a different set of challenges than the ones before her, adding, "Some of the discrimination and the overt racism that was faced by generations before us, we don't face anymore. We don't have segregation that is illegal things of that nature, but now a lot of the problems we face are embedded in legislation and covert racism and are more institutionalized."

Baden said the youth of this generation are ready to take the lead, continuing the fight Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired decades ago.


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