Marching to keep ‘the dream’ alive

Published 4:25 am Saturday, January 26, 2019

Citizens walked hand in hand through the streets of Bogalusa on Monday afternoon, both to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to express their hope that his full dream of equality will eventually come to pass.

While marchers certainly admitted that race relations are far better in 2019 than they were in King’s lifetime, they also noted that society can continue to improve.

“There will still be struggles,” said Marvin Austin Sr., a former Bogalusa City Council member and one of the march’s organizers. “But events like this help us to keep the dream alive.”

Austin noted that it was especially important to have young people involved in the march, as they will be the next generation of leaders.

Emerald Lathan, a junior at Bogalusa High School and the vice president of the Spartanettes Service Club, said that participation in the march is important.

“I wanted to support everyone in the black community and in Bogalusa,” she said. “We want to show that we are together.”

Flanked by Bogalusa Police Department patrol vehicles serving as escorts, the marchers began at the corner of MLK Drive and North Avenue. They proceeded to Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church, where a program was held featuring Mayor Wendy Perrette as the guest speaker.

Michael O’Ree, one of Monday’s marchers, said that he looks forward to participating in the event every year.

“I believe that Dr. King sacrificed so much for us, including his own life,” O’Ree said. “It’s the least that I can do. I’m going to come every year, until I can’t walk anymore.”