Alpha Phi Alpha and MISA remember MLK through march and program


Dasyonne Brashear

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc. leading their annual MLK march. Later on, members led a program in the Student Union Theater.

On Jan. 23, the Kappa Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and MISA partnered to host their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial March and program. Many students and staff marched alongside the fraternity in support, including University president Dr. John L. Crain.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year. The date is meant to mark his birthday, which fell on January 15. 

The event is important to Alpha Phi Alpha because Dr. King was initiated into their fraternity in 1952.

At 6 p.m., members of Alpha Phi Alpha led the march from Cook Field’s parking lot to the Students Union Breezeway. There, guests were ushered to the Student Union Theater where the program was held. The theme of the program was “Looking back and remembering: But where do we go from here?” 

The program began with a welcoming prayer from Alpha Phi Alpha member Josiah Fields, followed by an original poem from junior child life specialist major Samya Harlaux.

“Dr. King had a dream, he had a dream that we would not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. Though we have come far, we unfortunately have a long way to go. From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter, our community is still fighting for the same right, Freedom,” Harlaux said.

After Harlaux’s poetry reading, Flipside Dance performed a liturgical dance consisting of five members. Next, members of Southeastern’s Gospel Choir performed a selection of music.

Finally, Alpha Phi Alpha invited Rev. Bro. Burnett G. King to come and be their special guest speaker as an alumni of Alpha Phi Alpha.

“This is something that needs to be celebrated throughout the year, not only in January, not only on the third Monday of the month, but it is something we should readily reflect upon at any time it doesn’t have to be in this month,” said King.

Guest speaker King not only wanted to remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and work, but also wanted to remind people that the fight for equality is not over.

“These annual celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy are very important, not simply to reflect on his life and his work as a great man. We all know that he led a movement that propelled this nation forward exponentially. The real reason we are here tonight is to recognize that the work that was begun in the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s is not yet done. Disparities still exist,” King said.

Martin Luther King created a legacy that continues to leave an impact on society today as shown by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and MISA.