Texas State Updates: MLK Celebration

University to honor legacy
of civil rights leader King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday is the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, and Texas State will mark the occasion with events Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The university will have an invitation-only faculty and staff luncheon on Tuesday, followed by a poetry slam contest beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the LBJSC Ballroom.

The 26th annual march to commemorate King on Thursday will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Old Main and proceed to the LBJ Student Center. State Rep. Sylvester Turner will deliver the keynote speech beginning at 7 p.m. in the LBJSC Ballroom.

Turner was elected to the  House of Representatives in 1988 and serves as a member of the State Affairs Committee, Business and Industry Committee and the  Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight Committee. He is chairman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and co-chairman of the Harris County Legislative Delegation.

Events are being sponsored by the Texas State Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (512.245.2278).

King, ordained as a Baptist minister, became a civil rights leader in the 1950s. He led the 1955 Montgomery (Ala.) bus boycott (the effort launched by rider Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.

His civil rights efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color-blind society.

Click for video of the speech on YouTube and here for a transcript.

In 1964, he became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1986.

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