Livingstone students heading to 50th anniversary of March on Washington

SALISBURY — More than 50 Livingstone College students will travel to Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous March on Washington.

Students, college faculty members and some members of the local NAACP chapter will take a bus to the National Mall, where King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Manuel McGriff, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students at the college, said the Student Government Association announced plans to take a bus to Washington at a school assembly on Wednesday. By the end of the gathering, the list of interested students was “overflowing.”

“We just elected officers and they just started their term,” McGriff said of the student organization. “They’re excited about connecting with our community and connecting with history.”

McGriff said the student body jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the 50th anniversary of King’s monumental speech.

“The students just want to be a part of history.”

Scott Teamer, head of the local NAACP, said he plans to ride with students on the trip.

Teamer said some students have been working with the local NAACP on upcoming voter registration efforts. Those students, he said, are “motivated” for a trip that should be the “biggest wake-up call that we’re going to get.”

“It’s a call to action. We can’t go to the march and come back and sit around,” Teamer said. “We have to work. I’m proud to go with them because this fight is more for them. It concerns them and effects them because it’s their future in hand.”

At a recent NAACP news conference, some Livingstone students said the state’s new Voter ID law is oppressive to minorities. The new law will not permit student photo IDs from private colleges, like Livingstone, as acceptable forms of identification.

Local students, Teamer said, are ready to fight what he has called “regressive legislation.”

“For us, we can’t go back. That’s what these students have to realize,” he said. “We can’t go back. We’re not willing to go back in time.”

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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