MLK Day
4:37 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Austinites Pay Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hundreds of people gathered near the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. statue on the UT campus this morning to honor the life of the slain civil rights leader.

Several people spoke before the crowd, including University of Texas President Bill Powers. He said much has changed since Dr. King visited UT 52 years ago, when athletics and dorms were still segregated.

"On the campus we do have the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. The Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. We are more diverse. We have an African American head football coach," Powers said.

But Powers also said the campus and the city still have work to do. That was echoed by UT Professor Edmund T. Gordon, chair of the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies.

"Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. However, due to the rising cost of living and gentrification, Austin is losing black residents faster than any other major city in the country," Gordon said.

Those gathered at the MLK statue then joined the Manor High drum corps as they marched to Huston-Tillotson University.