Anoka-Hennepin students gather to celebrate MLK day
By Megan Hopps
SUN PRESS Newspapers
On a hot August day in 1963 thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and were inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s moving “I have a dream” speech.
Fifty-one years later, Anoka-Hennepin students still recognize King’s push for freedom and equality for all people at Anoka Middle School of the Arts, during events on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Jan. 20.
Putting their passion for equality and their embrace of diversity into action, students rapped, sang, spoke and recited celebratory expressions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.
In King’s speech, he proclaimed, “I have a dream-that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Years later, the nation remembers King’s influence. Strongly influenced by Jesus Christ and adopting Ghandi’s teaching of non-violence, King pushed for civil rights reform. He fought for equal opportunity, organized and led marches for African-American’s right to vote, desegregation and labor rights.
Following in King’s footsteps, Champlin Park students rallied and marched at the Capitol Monday. Upon their arrival at Anoka Middle School, they gathered to hear King’s speech those many years ago, to celebrate and to inspire friends and neighbors to “Let freedom ring.”
Students from Champlin Park High School, Coon Rapids High School, Blaine High School, Anoka Middle School of the Arts and Northdale Middle School took the stage Monday, performing solos and duets. Others beat boxed and recited poetry- all eagerly expressing their celebration of King’s dream. This is the third annual MLK Day Jamboree hosted by Anoka-Hennepin schools.
Champlin Park’s step team opened with their performance. CPHS students Andrei Gill and Annette Williams recited poetry and Black Velvet, a vocal group from Champlin Park, performed a piece they wrote in honor of MLK Day.
Students also took time to remember other influential leaders in the civil rights movement like Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandella.
Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]