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Cold, clear weather greets participants in San Antonio’s MLK march

January 21, 2019

Hundreds of people were pouring into the East Side early Monday morning around Martin Luther King Jr. Park, preparing for the annual events honoring the slain civil rights leader.

Mary Bozeman, 55, dressed warmly in African regalia, met with her contingent of 300 people from St. Philip’s College, ready to strike out on her second MLK March.

“It’s the epitome and fiber of the Martin Luther King cause,” said the academic program specialist, as her fellow marchers arrived at the starting point. “In solidarity we walk.”

There was a lively worship service in the parking lot of MLK Academy in the cold, clear hours before the march started at 10 a.m.

Before it’s all over, officials expect there will be more than 100,000 people participating in the march, which has been taking place for more than 50 years. But it’s the 32nd year as an official city event.

It’s a highlight of DreamWeek, honoring King and seeking to further his mission of equality and true justice for all.

Sunday, several hundred people gathered by King’s statue at New Braunfels Avenue and Houston Street for a wreath-laying ceremony, which honors King’s life, struggles and accomplishments.

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, state Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins and District 2 interim Councilman Art Hall were among the civic leaders who paid their respects to King on Sunday.

Keynote speaker Colette Pierce Burnette, the first woman president and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University, said the wreaths symbolize an eternal life commitment to not only remember King but continue his work.

“We met equality, but we have not gotten to equity — there is a difference,” she said. “As a nation, we have seen improvements and advances, but the bridge to Dr. King’s dream is not yet complete. There is work to do.”

“We’ve done well in purging racism and hatred from our laws and institutions, but to realize Dr. King’s dream we must purify our hearts and minds.”

Burnette said the MLK march is still an important part in fighting for equity in the United States.

“It’s hard work, but it’s heart work,” she said.

After she spoke and sang, more than 30 wreaths, donated by local churches, nonprofits, companies and various other organizations, were placed around King’s statue.

After the gathering, a citywide interfaith worship service in King’s honor continued the message of promoting unity.

At Second Baptist Church, nearly every faith had its moment during the service — the Christian hymns of the Texas Children’s Choir, the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn, and a Buddhist chant from the Soka Gakkai International Buddhist network.

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