Archive for Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Day takes on added significance

January 21, 2013, 11:18 p.m. Updated January 22, 2013, 3:30 p.m.


Helen Henry, 7, of Lawrence, gets ready for a candlelight vigil from Strong Hall on the Kansas University campus to the Kansas Union. Dozens of people took part in Monday’s vigil honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Helen Henry, 7, of Lawrence, gets ready for a candlelight vigil from Strong Hall on the Kansas University campus to the Kansas Union. Dozens of people took part in Monday’s vigil honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

With Washington, D.C., full of pomp and circumstance for the second inauguration of the nation’s first black president, Kansas University on Monday held its own ceremony to honor the man who may have helped pave President Barack Obama’s way.

More than 50 people stood in the Strong Hall rotunda Monday afternoon to listen to excerpts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” before proceeding with lighted candles to a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in the Kansas Union.

“It’s so important with African-American history that today we have our first African-American who has been elected twice,” high school student Diamond Townsend, of Topeka, said of the holiday falling on the day of the inauguration.

Distinguished professor of English Maryemma Graham spoke about the meaning of the day and the candlelight procession.

“It represents light in a dark world,” she said. “But it’s also for those who have come before us and lighted the way in that struggle.”

The procession ended in the Big 12 Room at the Union, where Hannah Bolton, student body president, and others commemorated the day.

“It’s a huge moment in our history and for us as students,” Bolton said. She added that the university’s celebration of the day was important because it helped bring forth and celebrate KU’s diversity.

Also during the celebration, KU’s Inspirational Gospel Voices choir performed, and winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest from Lawrence Memorial Central Middle School and Lawrence High School.

Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest winners

David Krejci and Annie Olson, Liberty Memorial Central Middle School

Marlee Bird and Emily Saunders, Lawrence High School


Astrunk 5 years, 4 months ago

Just a note: I'll add the names of the essay contest winners tomorrow when I get a hold of them for those interested.

Jan Rolls 5 years, 4 months ago

It was a great day until I heard some jerk on fox news saying that Obama was the 2nd black president to be elected. What idiots.

UltimateGrownup 5 years, 4 months ago

This article is false. It is ironic that Obama is inaugurated on MLK Day, since he represents the only major political party with a bad civil rights record. The Republican Party was born to end slavery and President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years into the first Republican administration. The Democrats fought the Republicans tooth and nail in the years that followed, as Republicans gave blacks the right to vote and protected blacks in general. Many black Republicans were elected to Congress. Meanwhile the Democrats, the party of Bull Connor, have favored discrimination throughout American history. Until the 1960s, they advocated anti-black discrimination and then they switched to advocate anti-white discrimination. MLK's political stands read like the Republican Party platform. He sought to judge people by the content of their character, not their skin color. He was pro-family and anti-abortion. Also, I don't care what color Obama is, but the article is incorrect as referring to him as black. One of his parents was white.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

"Obama = worst President ever." "Bush = worst President ever."

Anyone who says either of those things needs to go back and look at some of our past Presidents.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

Six posts, and I'm smelling a fake, troll account here.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

You just give the history that you want, and not the details. Well, I guess that's not lying, but it's just not telling the whole story. Let me fill in the details. The South was predominantly Democrat, because of the Civil War, so yes it's true that at one time Republicans ended slavery and gave the right to vote to Blacks. But then both parties started to ignore the discrimination happening all over the country, but especially in the South. Remember abolitionists were anti slavery, but they didn't particularly want a Black family living next door to them. Then along came a civil rights movement, which the Democrats in Washington and the youth of the nation embraced. But the Republicans wanted to keep things the same. President Johnson had the audacity to promote then sign the voting rights act that eliminated the roadblocks put up to keep Blacks from voting. Of course, that meant there came a fundamental change in the Democrat party, and most Southern Democrats moved to the Republican party. Basically it was a flip flop in values. And I have seen and heard many racist comments from Republicans lately, especially Tea Party Republicans to have lost all respect for their fine past.

UltimateGrownup 5 years, 4 months ago

Tomatogrower, you're reciting a falsified version of history. It was President Eisenhower who forced desegregation in Little Rock. The Republicans were more behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (82% Senate, 80% House) than the Democrats (69% Senate, 63% House). Sure, LBJ signed it into law. Eisenhower or Nixon would have, also. And the California Civil Rights initiative? Supported by Repulicans, blocked by Democrats. And as to your statement that you have seen and heard racist comments from Republicans lately, that is an utter falsehood. No, you have not. You're just saying what your political bosses make you say.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

That is a lie. I would share some of the Facebook posts by some of the conservatives who used to be my friends, but because of their blatant racist remarks about our president our no longer my friends on Facebook or elsewhere, not to mention some of the nasty racist comments made by our Kansas Republicans, in emails on to the press. Eisenhower would have been drummed out of the present day Republican party. So would Reagan, but they ignore his support of gun control, and the fact he was smart enough to push for tax raises when his tax cuts increased the deficits by too much. They ignore those little pieces of history. If they didn't they would have to be call Reagan a RINO.

UltimateGrownup 5 years, 3 months ago

There you go again. There have not been any racist comments from Kansas Republicans. If you're interested in racism, join the Democratic Party. The Democratic National Convention -- and Democrats in general -- are utterly obsessed by race. By definition, it is impossible to be obsessed and neutral on something.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

You sound like a fun person. (sarcasm intended) All work and no play makes you a boring person.

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