YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Across the country, people remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, a local nonprofit, teaches the history of the civil rights movement to students in the area.
Members Natalia McRae and Penny Wells reflect on what Martin Luther King Jr. Day means to them.
“I think of the Lorraine Hotel where he was assassinated. I think of his church in Atlanta. I think of his family. I have an octopus T-shirt. I think about civil rights,” said McRae, a student at Youngstown State University.
According to McRae, traveling down south to various civil rights sites allowed him to see King for what he really was. She has her two stay trips with Wells.
“You can see how things have permeated to this day, how things are still similar, how they are very different, and how we have overcome so much.” McRae said, “It makes you feel more grateful.”
McRae said it’s hard to imagine what the world would be like without King.
“I don’t think it’s going to be the same or quite the same. Even his death made a lot of changes,” McRae said. I think there will be more violence and chaos between races, as I would like to say.”
King is well known for his nonviolent approach to bringing equality and civil rights to African Americans. McRae hopes the Valley will embody King’s peaceful persona.
“When we stop hating each other and venting our hatred, violence and anger, we will start to change things more,” McRae said. It’s okay too, because when someone feels hurt, they get hurt.But we’re just starting with our community and I think we should definitely reduce crime and violence.”
McRae said putting an end to violence isn’t the only thing.
“Stop painting our kids pictures of Martin Luther King and saying ‘civil rights’ and stop tying things to Black History Month. Get it out of the box and research it,” McRae said. said. “I think Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is definitely a day of contemplation, looking back at what we have been through, what we have encountered, and how we can change things.”
Wells and McRae tell students in the area that Mahoning Valley A Stay in the Pastsan’s trip.
https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/valley-college-students-reflect-on-mlk-jr-look-to-future/ Peggy Wells and Natalia McRae of Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past reflect on the personal meaning of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.