At an event held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at UCLA, more than 100 youngsters from Tom Bradley Elementary School in Los Angeles listened to a rebroadcast of the speech Tuesday as they sat on the grass in Meyerhoff Park. The civil rights leader originally spoke to more than 5,000 people on April 27, 1965, at the base of Janss Steps, roughly one month after the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights marches took place.
Before King’s speech was rebroadcast at noon today, representatives of the sponsoring organizations, including Janay Williams, retention coordinator for the Afrikan Student Union, and Mick Deluca, assistant vice chancellor of campus life, talked about King’s legacy.
“I was a young boy when Dr. King was killed,” reminisced Michael Maynard, head coach of track and field at UCLA, before taking part in today’s event. “My teachers spent a great deal of time and effort to teach us about Dr. King and his impact on civil rights and our society ... It is important that we not forget where we came from, or we are doomed to return.”
Earlier at Royce Hall, 1,800 local high school and middle school students were treated to a screening of the Academy Award-nominated movie “Selma,” directed by UCLA alumna Ava DuVernay. According to organizers, it was the largest screening of the film held on any college campus. At 7 p.m., the campus community is invited to a free screening of “Selma” in Royce Hall.