Without Martin Luther King Jr. we may not know what to do, according to some children who recently learned about the man who helped bring about considerable social change in this nation.
The country celebrated King’s legacy Monday, and in Johnson City one place he was remembered was at Carver Recreation Center on West Market Street, where children ages 6-12 participated in arts and crafts and heard a story by Sally Jackson about King’s childhood and his experiences that helped shape his direction as a civil rights activist as an adult.
Around 12:30 the kids all marched in a unity walk around the Carver track with an MLK banner.
Anashia Love, who participated in the Carver events, learned that King helped bring about an end to racial segregation and said that it was important to celebrate his birthday because, “If it wasn’t for him then we wouldn’t, well, we wouldn’t know what we would do... .”
Taylor Collins was also at Carver Monday.
“He (King) helped the black and white people come together, and no more fighting and stuff,” Collins said, adding that it was important to honor King to continue to encourage friendship between everyone so that “everyone can come together and have fun and stuff.”
Tyreese Boren said it was important to honor King because he helped teach people how to act and to not have separate facilities based on race.
Helping out with the King celebration at Carver were East Tennessee State University Black Affairs Association students and students from Tusculum College.
Tamara Foster, programs coordinator at Carver, said the children were learning a lot about King, including his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered 50 years ago this year.
“And we just want the kids to know how important it is for, not only them, but for everybody to be as one and come together and, you know, get along and be able to do the things that Dr. Martin Luther King wanted everybody to do,” Foster said.
Other MLK events happened around the area this weekend, but also on Monday a group of ETSU students worked with Appalachian Service Project from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. to improve substandard private homes, or painted the office inside the Coalition for Kids facility on Watauga Road.