A popular day of service, Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the life of a man known for serving his community and who left a lasting impression of both peace, love, and equality. What better way to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day than by doing exactly what he did in life – staging a peaceful march through Selma.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 19, 2015
Oprah Winfrey commemorated the national holiday yesterday by marching through the streets of Selma with other stars from her hit film, Selma, which she was an executive producer of and starred in. Winfrey was joined by the movie’s director, Ava Duvernay, and the actor who played Martin Luther King Jr., David Oyelowo. Common, the Chicago born rapper, was also a part of the march.
The marchers yesterday followed the same route that Martin Luther King Jr. did in his day – marching to Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was on that bridge where civil rights protesters faced severe police brutality, being beaten with clubs and facing tear gas in 1965.
As marchers prepared for their journey yesterday, Oprah was quoted by Yahoo as saying that, “Every single person on that bridge is a hero.”
Oprah also talked about the impact that Martin Luther King has had on us all, as seen on Tampa Bay Times, saying that we all remember “Martin Luther King as an idea, Selma as an idea and what can happen with strategy, with discipline and with love.”
Winfrey added, “The idea is that hope and possibility are real.”
My favorite moment the final march across the bridge. All races, ages, backgrounds, people.#SelmaTweetup
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) January 10, 2015
The march is in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama’s capital, marching for voting rights for African Americans. The marchers faced many troubles in 1965, including being faced with tear gas and other police brutality, nicknaming the first day they marched, March 7, 1965 as “Bloody Sunday.” Martin Luther Kin Jr. and the marchers tried again, though, on March 21, 1965, and actually made it to the capital of Alabama.
Lisa Stevens, a mother of two, brought her two children to the march yesterday because she wanted them to understand the importance of what Martin Luther King Jr. did and why we have a day of remembrance for him. Stevens was quoted as saying, “I wanted to bring my children here so they can know their history and for them to participate in this walk.”
While the walk took place yesterday, there will be many other events to remember this man and his work. In South Carolina, leaders are prepared for the biggest rally of the year.
In Atlanta at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was once a pastor, the current pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, summed it up best when he said that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day when “all of God’s children are busy spreading the message of freedom and justice.”
[Photo Courtesy of the Abernathy Family]