MLK and the quot;Master Planquot;

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2002


"A mixed crowd" attended the Second Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance Ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the prolific achievements and dreams of one man.

"Looking around at the different faces tonight, I can tell his dream has become a reality," said Staphanie Dawson, president of the African American Alliance on campus.

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Lamar P. Higgins, a member of the Troy State University Board of Trustees, spoke at the ceremony about the "master plan."

Higgins was the first black Student Government Association president at TSU and the first individual of any race to hold the office two consecutive terms.

"It was clear someone had a master plan for Martin Luther King," Higgins said.

This master plan, Higgins said, abruptly ended when King was assassinated in Memphis.

"[King] has come to represent courage, achievement, high moral leadership and non-violence ," Higgins said. "I cannot allow him to simply be remembered as a holiday, program or a ceremony, although he deserves all these things."

If King could have addressed the crowd instead of Higgins, he would have told the audience they were apart of the master plan, said Higgins.

"He would have told everyone to come off their plateau of indifference and apathy and acquire the desire to change the world," he said.

"It doesn’t matter what side of the railroad tracks you are from, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. You are all apart of the master plan," Higgins told the crowd.

"Offer your gifts to others. Give your two fish and five loaves of barley so others can be fed," he said.

As Higgins walked off the stage to the sound of about 200 pairs of hands clapping, the TSU Gospel Choir walked on the stage to perform.

"The Gospel Choir always makes me cry. They always touch my heart," said Barbara Patterson, who works in Student Affairs at TSU.

"It was a good crowd and a beautiful speech. The Gospel Choir certainly added a special element to the program," she said.

The first ceremony was actually a "Remembrance Walk" from Sorrell Chapel to Claudia Crosby Theater with about 100 people in attendance, according to Maegan Flowers of the SGA.

However, rain prevented the outdoor procession from becoming a tradition.

"Last year the rain made it difficult to keep the candles lit and to keep everything dry. We decided not to take a risk this year," Flowers said.

An indoor ceremony took the place of the candle-lit walk.

The event was produced by the Freshmen Forum, the pre-SGA for freshmen.

"This is their first thing to do on their own," said Flowers, sophomore coordinator for the Freshmen Forum.