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King's dream lives on, more progress needed.
This item originally appeared in the Jan. 22, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.

This year marks what would have been the 75th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Tech Talk would like to thank the community for raising social awareness by participating in the annual Unity March celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 19.

The march was followed by a noon ecumenical service at the Ruston Civic Center.

"Being Faithful to the Dream" was this year's theme, and the keynote speaker was the Rev. Clifford E. McClain, pastor of Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport.

Dr. King had a dream, and we are lucky to have had such a peaceful leader who still sparks the consciences of generations today.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day for everyone to reflect, no matter the color of their skin.

Dr. King's address at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963, still rings true today:

"This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial injustice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."

With these words, King lit a fire that eventually led to the ratification of the 24th Amendment, which cut out the poll tax and a barrier to the black voters in the South, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also prohibited was racial discrimination in employment and education. Racial segregation was in public facilities.

The question remains: Would Dr. King be satisfied if he was alive today?

Walk into the Student Center at Tech and racial lines can be clearly seen, with black students on the left and white students on the right.

We encourage faculty, administrators and especially students to interact cross-culturally.

A majority of Tech students will move to big cities after graduating, and, as America becomes more of a melting-pot, cross-cultural interaction will be a way of life.

We encourage students to open their minds and break down racial and cultural barriers.

We as a school and nation need to learn to cope with differences in order to survive.

Through King's wisdom and devotion this nation has remained grounded. King's leadership shook America to its core, asking people to stand up and speak out against injustice.

It's up to the generation today to keep up his philosophy of nonviolent direct action to make sure King does not become just another page in history books.

His dream is real.

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