The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE offers worldly tribute to King

A Chinese dragon roams the SE Campus gymnasium during the school’s international-themed Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Jan. 16. 
David Reid/The Collegian
A Chinese dragon roams the SE Campus gymnasium during the school’s international-themed Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Jan. 16. David Reid/The Collegian

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

SE Campus hosted a celebration that was part of a four-day event in Arlington honoring the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Multicultural festival passports were provided to visitors who could travel the campus through seven continents Jan. 14 and learn about the culture in countries, some of which King had visited. Sounds of live music, song and dance filled rooms and hallways throughout the event where dream seemed to be the afternoon’s word of choice.

Representing Africa, former SE student Adwoa Bonney-Graves and her friend, Afia Asare, displayed their artistic talent from the book Surreptitious Voice. Graves, who has written poetry “since I can remember,” earned her associate degree in 2008. She and Asare are both from Ghana.

Asare said the two have shared a common dream.

“She [Graves] would come over to my house and say, ‘One day, I’m going to write a poetry book, and you’re going to do a painting to go with each of my poems,’” she said. “We were, like, 14.”

Asare wanted to be part of the MLK event because dreams were something King stood for, she said. She and Graves used to sit around and dream all the time.

“You can talk about something all you want,” she said. “But, eventually, you actually need to do something.”

Former Arlington mayor Elzie Odom, who was also present, shared information about his newly released memoir Counting My Blessings. Odom said he always looks forward to the celebration, which he considers a blessing.

“It shows we do have the ability to achieve whatever we want to if we dream big enough,” he said.

Odom, Arlington’s first black mayor, said he was always proud that Arlington’s MLK celebration, now in its 23rd year, was one of the largest in the nation.

“Not for bragging rights,” he said, “but because so many kids are exposed.”

A Chinese dragon roams the SE Campus gymnasium during the school’s international-themed Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Jan. 16.
David Reid/The Collegian

While bagpipes piped from the Sub Commons continent of Australia, visitors sampled sugar cane in the Main Commons continent of South America. A colorful lion dance was performed for tourists in the gym of Asia, and the Cornerstone Church Choir greeted visitors seated in the North America/Antarctica theater with song. Members of the Baha’i Faith offered heart stickers to passers-by which read, “No room in my heart for prejudice.”

Arlington resident Gayle Savage was among those joining the MLK event.

“I’m just trying to find out more things about him [King],” she said.

Savage said she just wanted to be part of the celebration.

King championed civil rights among blacks and others around the world. He became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 before being assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39 in Memphis.

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