Students march for peace, equality to mark MLK Day

Students from Berkeley Arts Magnet school march for MLK Day on Friday Jan. 13. Photo: Kieron Slaughter

A large group of young students from Berkeley’s Emerson School walked off campus and through the Elmwood neighborhood Friday morning for the elementary school’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. march.

The kindergarten-through-fifth-grade students held signs proclaiming ‘Peace Black and White Love’ and ‘I have a dream of equality,’ as well a large artwork of the head of the civil-rights leader, and chanted, making a loop that included the Elmwood shopping district on College Avenue. Shoppers stopped to clap and take photos, and drivers in passing cars honked their horns in support.

Before they left campus the students were scheduled to watch the last speech given by First Lady Michelle Obama before she leaves office, and to hear a rap version of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech, according to Berkeley Unified spokesman Charles Burress.

Douglas Legg, a parent chaperone who accompanied the spirited children, said the assembly in the morning had been wonderful.


Emerson wasn’t the only school that held marches and events to mark MLK Day, which is on Monday Jan. 19, a public holiday. All grades at Berkeley Arts Magnet marched Friday morning too, for example.

Video above by Bonnie Brown.

Emerson Elementary School students march through the Elmwood neighborhood on Friday Jan. 13 for their annual MLK Day march. Photo: Wendy Cohen
Emerson Elementary School students march through the Elmwood neighborhood on Friday Jan. 13 for their annual MLK Day march. Photo: Wendy Cohen
Emerson Elementary School students march through the Elmwood neighborhood on Friday Jan. 13 for their annual MLK Day march. Photo: Wendy Cohen
Emerson Elementary School students march through the Elmwood neighborhood on Friday Jan. 13 for their annual MLK Day march. Photo: Wendy Cohen
Emerson Elementary School students march through the Elmwood neighborhood on Friday Jan. 13 for their annual MLK Day march. Photo: Wendy Cohen
Students from Berkeley Arts Magnet school march for MLK Day on Friday Jan. 13. Photo: Kieron Slaughter
Students from Berkeley Arts Magnet school march for MLK Day on Friday Jan. 13. Photo: Kieron Slaughter
Students from Berkeley Arts Magnet school march for MLK Day on Friday Jan. 13. Photo: Kieron Slaughter
Emerson Elementary School students march through the Elmwood shopping neighborhood on Friday Jan. 13 for their annual MLK Day march. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Students from Berkeley Arts Magnet school march for MLK Day on Friday Jan. 13. Photo: Kieron Slaughter