Unrealized Dreams? Alcorn students remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Unrealized Dreams?

Alcorn students remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, marked what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 85th birthday. The U.S. has experienced significant social progress since Dr. King delivered the now iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Students on the historic Alcorn State University campus are constantly reminded of the sacrifices made by such civil rights legends as Dr. King and Medgar Wiley Evers ’52, the NAACP’s first Mississippi field secretary who spent his college years at Alcorn.

In honor of Dr. King’s birthday, Alcorn State students shared how they see the realization of Dr. King’s dream. Many said the country is progressing toward that often spoken American ideal of “all men are created equal.”

Jordyn Glover, a senior physical therapy major from Atlanta, Georgia, and Ismail Yusuf, a senior sociology major from Seattle, Washington, agreed that the increased acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and diverse religious expressions show that people are being treated more fairly. Rachelle Abram, a junior business administration major from Fiskhill, New York, said that Mississippians electing Jeramey Anderson, a 22-year-old black man, to the state House of Representative is a major achievement and a huge step in the right direction.

Some aspects of Dr. King’s dream remain unrealized, the students said. Chris Murray, a senior electro-mechanical engineering technology student from Gloster is encouraged by the racial harmony that allows him to go places freely in Mississippi with people of different races and cultures. But he realizes some continue to socialize only with people like themselves. “I don’t think Dr. King would be pleased that black people are still being blamed for this and white people are still being blamed for that,” he said.

Jordyn said stereotypes continue to guide perceptions, leading some to judge others “more by their outwardly appearances than the content of their character.”

These optimistic students continue to fight for and live Dr. King’s dream as best they can. Rachelle works hard inspiring others to pursue collaborative successes and emphasizes community building in her public service. Ismail believes it’s critically important that we educate each other about our differences, so he is active on campus, planning and organizing events that encourage cross-cultural conversation and understanding.

Jordyn and Chris followed in Dr. King’s footsteps and joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. They refuse to be limited by negative expectations and perceptions about black men. They pursue personal progress in ways they believe their fraternity brother envisioned for them.

Alcorn encourages everyone to not stop at celebrating Dr. King’s birthday and words, but to continue to invest in his dream and demonstrate that commitment in their lives and interactions with others.

How do you contribute to Dr. King’s dream? Share your stories with the Alcorn State community by tweeting us at @AlcornStateU using hashtag#AlcornMLK or joining our Facebook conversation at Facebook/AlcornStateU.