ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Hundreds walked the streets of Albany Monday afternoon, in honor of the brave men and women who marched for civil rights.
It marked the second annual "The Walk," where people young and old walked in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Junior from Shiloh Baptist Church to the site of the old jailhouse. The same steps he walked when he was here in Albany in 1961 and 1962.
The message was all about one theme: "Retracing the steps to cherish our past, so we won't repeat it."
We heard from folks who had marched for civil rights with their parents and grandparents years ago. But what was even more fascinating-- the younger generation that showed up to continue their ancestors' goal: equality.
They marched from Shiloh Baptist Church on Whitney Avenue, to the Charles Sherrod Park, to the old jailhouse downtown where marchers in the 1960s were arrested for fighting for what was right.
Marching on the exact path where Martin Luther King Junior along with many other important figures marched.
"Walking in those steps, they're following the steps of great leaders, heroes, unsung heroes and heroes of that date. I want them to try and get that feel, because at the end of the day, it's all about informing and inspiring future generations," said Henry Mathis.
And the generations showed up today.
"I'm here with my granddaughter Miracle," said George Graham. "That is so important because I would like for her to be exposed to every part of the growing up in my life and the struggles that we had to endure as African Americans in this community and in this country."
George Graham says it's heartwarming to see everyone uniting, to show the passion that Martin Luther King Junior had is still alive today. And as they marched across streets downtown, high schooler Miracle says she felt like a part of history-- a feeling she wishes more people her age would appreciate.
"Get out. There's more than just Albany, Georgia. Just get out and learn. Your brain is a powerful thing."
Mathis says the fight for equality did not end with Martin Luther King, Junior. He says it's important for his generation to pass on the torch to the younger generation.
"When I get the torch, I'm going to try let my light shine!" said Miracle Graham.
Mathis plans to ask the local government to extend the footsteps from the Southside of Oglethorpe to Jackson, and Jackson to Pine. He also will ask for a monument for visitors to our city to get a comprehensive history of the civil rights movement in Albany.