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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Dunbar Heritage Association holds virtual MLK Day celebration

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(Left to right) Alex Banbury, Jonafa Banbury, Claudea Blythe and Mittie Miller stand with a “MLK Day” banner at a past MLK celebration event.

For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Dunbar Heritage Association (DHA) held a virtual celebration on its Facebook page in remembrance of the historic civil rights leader. 
DHA’s Jonafa Banbury began the celebration by commending the organization’s recently-deceased founder, Harvey Miller, who played a key role in coordinating MLK celebrations in past years.
“In the last four or five years of the MLK celebration, Mr. Miller would often be in the meetings, and he would [ask] us, ‘hey have you contacted City Council, have you contacted the mayor, have you contacted Hays County Commissioners Court?'” Banbury says. “He had celebrations and what we were supposed to do committed to memory so that even in his rainy years, his twilight years, when he wasn’t as vibrant as we know him to be, he still would know the time that we were in, and he would know what we [were] doing, and he would be able to tell us these are the marks that you have to hit in order to have the celebration. So, we miss him dearly.” 
The remarks were followed by a film that honored Miller and his founding of the only cross-section street names with LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson) and MLK in the U.S. The short film featured Miller before his passing and other San Marcos activists, such as Ollie Giles.
Calling attention to racial tensions and division, DHA encouraged viewers to take its Common Unity Pledge. The pledge outlines the “behavioral standards” needed to see elevation within communities.
The celebration also included a performance by Joshua Banbury who sang the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” followed by a brief history of how the song gained its status.
Afterward, a video was shown of the DHA’s MLK 2021 Wreath Laying Ceremony on Jan. 17. The ceremony involved various Hays County residents and organizations coming to the intersection memorial of MLK Drive and LBJ Drive where the wreaths were placed. 
City Council member Alyssa Garza, Texas State’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and the Calaboose African American History Museum were some of those who placed wreaths at the ceremony. 
Toward the end of the celebration, Deborah Carter, the workforce development librarian at the San Marcos Public Library, read “A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation,” by Barry Wittenstein. 
The celebration concluded with a video that included essays and letters by students from San Marcos High School. Banbury says the collaboration was made to hear younger citizens’ opinions on equality. 
“We actually have collaborated with the San Marcos High School, and we asked Principal Presley and staff there to tap into the students’ perspective because we want to hear from the more seasoned, as well as the young, because they are experiencing things in a way that the last two generations haven’t experienced,” Banbury says. “We want to tap into and ask them, what does equality mean to them?” 
For more information on the Dunbar Heritage Association pledge and to watch the celebration visit its Facebook page or YouTube channel.

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