Day of service pays tribute to MLK

Volunteers wait outside of Tallahassee Urban League offices to begin servicing events Monday.
Photo Submitted by Oldens Lafortune.

Monday called for the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s life.

The Tallahassee Urban League put together a servicing event, cleaning the streets of the Frenchtown area. Members of the community and students from Florida A&M University and Florida State University all participated in a day of service honoring King.

The event began with speakers and leaders of the community such as Curtis Taylor, president and CEO of Tallahassee Urban League, talking to volunteers about the importance of giving back to the community. Groups then split up and began to clean up the surrounding areas, hoping to make a difference.

Taylor hoped that the events would allow students to learn to partake in activities that benefit their community.

“As a team we can all make a difference, as Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to do,” Taylor said. “This event is especially important to the youth.”

Various student organizations such as FSU’s Progressive Black Men and Sistuhs teamed up in this event.

Christopher Johnson, a student at FSU and member of PBM, said it was necessary for him to attend the event.

“I grew up watching King’s beliefs and watching his speeches,” Johnson said. “He put his life on the line time and time again. The least I can do is pick up trash and help make this community a better place.”

Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights and social activist, who fought for Black America’s equality, was born on Jan. 15 of 1929. He fought with peaceful, nonviolent protests, boycotts and held various speeches like the famous “I Have A Dream” speech, which was held in 1963 during the March on Washington on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

King was assassinated outside of his motel in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. He was in Memphis to give a speech while the Memphis sanitation workers were on strike for better pay and working conditions.

Calvin Bryant, a graduate student at FAMU and member of Images Modeling Troupe, said he wished he lived during King’s era.

“I honestly would’ve been right there with him, at every march, rooting and fighting for the freedom we black people deserve,” Bryant said. “Martin Luther King Jr should be a role model to every black man.”

Pamela Smith, a Frenchtown resident, heard about the event through her church.

“We’re always looking for ways to help out the community through God’s will,” Smith said. “This is what it’s all about.”