Marchers relive iconic 1961 march through Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Marchers relive iconic 1961 march through Albany

Shiloh Baptist Church Rev. Henry Mathis Shiloh Baptist Church Rev. Henry Mathis
Freedom Singer and original marcher Emory Harris Freedom Singer and original marcher Emory Harris
ASU student Jeremy Jones ASU student Jeremy Jones
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Millions of people around the country are celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The iconic Civil Rights leader had an historic stop in Albany in 1961 and ignited the movement here. A huge group relived the historical march through Albany—leaving from Shiloh Baptist Church.

Singing and marching, the marchers placed their feet in the same place Martin Luther King Jr. did in 1961.

From the doorsteps at Shiloh Baptist Church, to the Civil Rights monument downtown, all the way to the bus stop, they remembered the march to freedom led by Dr. King.

"We want people to be aware of the past. How the past has met the present, and how the present will take us into the future," said Reverend Henry Mathis.

Dr. King came to Albany at the request of several ministers at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.

"Many people said that Dr. King's visit was a failure. I'm here to say that Dr. King's visit here was a success," said Rev. Mathis.

Mathis says this march is proof. Emory Harris is a Freedom Singer who marched with King on that day at the age of 17.

"It just was a big thing because Dr. King had all the news reporters come from all over the country," said Harris.

That attention sparked change. The marchers today are diverse—young and old, men and women.

Having the youth though is most important to all of the organizers.

"Really want to let kids know about really what was going on back in the 60s, back in the 50s, back in the 40s. We want to let them know that things wasn't just like they are right now. Things were real hard," said Harris.
 

"To walk the walk that they walk, to actually witness the freedom singers, to get a sense of how much time has passed, I think that experience is invaluable," said ASU student Jeremy Jones.

It’s an experience that those in attendance are grateful to have.

Copyright 2016 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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