Austin celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hundreds of people gathered in Austin on Monday to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist.

On the steps of a statue erected in his honor on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, the president of the historically black university, Hutson Tillotson, spoke to the marchers about King’s legacy of service.

“I challenge you today to lead change in Austin to make Texas and America a better place,” said Dr. Melva Williams. “With every step you take, I want you to think about the impact you want to make.”

Among the speakers at today’s rally were Williams, as well as US Congressman Lloyd Doggett and Texas Senator Donna Howard. The University of Houston-Tillotson Choir also performed their version of “Lift Every Voice” on the steps of the Capitol.

The organizers completely replayed King’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

Walking from the UT campus to the Capitol and back to the Hutson-Tillotson campus, the marchers also gave their opinion on how King thinks about the world today.

“He would be very pleased with the progress we have made. Right now, the environment is seeing all these people from different walks of life coming together for a good cause,” said D’Angelo Colter.

“But he would also say that we have a long way to go, and in that sense we are still seeing repression in our communities.”

“I think he would still be proud of what we do,” said Hayley Cohen. “There are many [animosities] there, and strife and hatred, but I think he will look at it and see the people who are still showing up.”

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