Abilene’s annual MLK march brought hundreds together to walk across the MLK bridge on Monday.
For the last three decades the Royals family has organized this event so that people from all over Abilene can unite to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what he stood for.
Before the walk began, attendees heard from Michael T. Royals and Anthony Williams, the mayor of Abilene. Both thanked everyone for coming and shared reasons as to why it was so important for the community to come together to stand for something that was bigger than any one individual.
“You look at all who make up the march today. A very diverse group of people, old and young. It symbolizes and articulates the things that Dr. King expressed,” Williams said.
Royals and Williams said they were happy at the turnout they had for the march. In the large scheme of things they knew that was what the whole day was about.
“Can we all work together? For the betterment of each other to move our world forward. That’s what this march is about and that is why this day was a proud moment, not just for Abilene, but this is an example for our entire nation,” Williams said.
Among the many people that showed up to march, Dr. Douglas Foster, professor emeritus of church history, had a few words to describe what the bigger meaning of this march meant to this community.
“What Martin Luther King stood for is a universal need to see people as God sees them. The bottom line is a system of white supremacy has existed in this nation from the beginning and continues even in times past the Civil Rights movement,” Foster said.
“For a community of the number of people that came together today, to march shoulder to shoulder, side by side, was a statement that we are committed to try to do what God would have us to do. And that is to see each other as he sees us,” Foster said.
Once the march concluded the crowd gathered for some final words from a few people that made all of it possible.
“This is not just a march. It is a walk for community. But as you walk, know that you are standing for unity,” Dr. Kelvin J. Kelley, associate professor of practical theology at HSU, said.
Right as people were about to be sent on their way everyone was left with some powerful words.
“There may be many colors out here. But if I cut you open, we will all bleed red,” Michael T. Royals said.