Local students pay tribute to Dr. King

Posted at: 08/28/2013 8:23 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

He was marching fifty years ago and he’s still marching today.

School kids in Albuquerque held a march Wednesday morning in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington that played such a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. One man – Lenton Malry – was present at both events.

Malry, a longtime APS teacher and principal and New Mexico state lawmaker, marched with students and teachers from Mountain Mahogany Community School to commemorate what happened on August 28, 1963. Malry, a young schoolteacher, was somewhere in that tidal wave of humanity that poured into the nation’s capital from all over the country, seeking civil rights, social justice, and equality.

“I didn’t know the importance of it at the time,” Malry said after today’s march. “Later on it hit me that this changed a lot of minds, not only in the black community, but also in other communities. The white community, the Hispanic community – they looked at this as really a sea change.”

Students at Mountain Mahogany have had an intense learning experience at the beginning of their school year, about the civil rights movement and how it matters to them a half a century later.

“Actually, it’s been an honor today,” said 8th grader Sevilla Martinez. “It’s been an honor to participate in something like this. At this school our school virtues – equality and social justice – have really connected with this.”

“It’s very important because we used to not have freedom but it’s much better now,” said 3rd grader Sophie Nielsen Clyne. “Things have improved because of the famous speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.”

8th graders took turns reading Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and younger students sang civil rights anthems, including “We Shall Overcome”.