A crowd of roughly 30 students gathered at MU’s Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on Thursday, the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, to say thank you to Rosa Parks and other civil rights leaders who took up the struggle for equality.
The Legion of Black Collegians, a student government group, hosted a memorial march and ceremony to pay homage to the leaders of the movement and bring together people of all backgrounds. Other activists honored in the program included the Little Rock Nine, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr. and Fannie Lou Hamer.
“We hope to accomplish awareness, a sense of history and adequately honor those who contributed to the better well-being of our generation,” said Travis Gregory, vice president of the organization. “Hopefully with a march like this, we can inspire other leaders of our community and the university to carry the torch of the movement.”
Although the temperature was low, spirits were high at the event as students proceeded with lit candles from the Black Culture Center to Memorial Union in honor of Parks.
“She stood up for not only people of her time but the future, too,” LBC member Bria Sudder said. “It’s important to recognize what she went through.”
Rosa Parks, known around the world for her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, died in October.
“We shouldn’t let her memory die because she died,” LBC member Nicole Nelson said.