Students reflect on MLK legacy as march takes place in downtown Fort Myers



On Monday, many people came together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday morning, dozens of people marched from Dunbar High School to Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers. New generations are witnessing what was lost just a few decades ago in the battle for equal rights. Now, parents and students alike reflect on how much MLK means to them.

People marched on Monday and crossed the railroad tracks on MLK Blvd in Fort Myers. These train tracks are a symbol that was once used to divide Black and White.

Martin Byrd is the chairman of the Dunbar Festival Committee. “We’re taking people back to the space where many of our civil rights leaders were as they marched across the country fighting for suffrage and workers’ rights,” Byrd said.

That march continued for nearly two miles to Centennial Park, where in the old days Negroes were not allowed to go. It’s hard to imagine that was less than 60 years ago.

Dayton Howard was a 4th grader participating in the parade. “One thing that really surprised me was that on the couches were the white couches and the black couches. It was something that I didn’t know existed at the time,” Dayton said.

And, even at an early age, these children see and feel that progress has been made.

Journey Harris is a second grader. “He would probably be proud,” Journey said.

Messiah attended this march with their parents. “He was a leader, and he spoke for the Negro,” Messiah said.

Although they were not present when Dr. King marched, they continued to carry his message.

Dayton said: Love is a cure-all for blacks and whites.

“He doesn’t want other people to be treated in any other way,” says Journey.

So they marched, sang, and celebrated the way Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hopefully they will – not just for the Black community but for the entire nation.

Jakhi Harris is in third grade. “It will be even worse if no one gets along,” Jakhi said.

Journey said: “If I had been treated differently, I would have done what Dr. King did.

Like Dr. King did, these children marched and vowed to live in solidarity.

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