“Back then it was about race, but now I think it’s just in general,” said Brianna Collins, 16, a junior at Perkins High School.
“He was trying to be a voice for all of us American people, to teach us to love one another,” Collins said. “That message will always be there.”
The Sandusky Citizens Coalition hosted a luncheon Saturday morning at Ebenezer Baptist Church to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The group selected Collins and senior Taylor Hayes, 18, both Perkins High students, to speak at the event. They addressed a theme from one of King’s speeches: “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”
Sometimes it’s difficult for younger people to understand the magnitude of King’s accomplishments because they weren’t alive during the civil rights movement, Hayes said.
“But when you go digging, research and see the things he went through to gain the freedoms we have today, it has more of an impact,” she said. “It hits you. I get it.”
As acts of violence like shootings and murders continue to draw national attention, King’s advocacy of non-violence is more important than ever, Hayes said.
“He didn’t just promote it, he lived by it,” she said. “His words, his actions are powerful. They’re everlasting.”
Read more of Collins' and Hayes' messages in today's Register or epaper.