Claflin students march to keep Dr. Martin L. Kingâ??s dream alive

Three Claflin students reflecting on their time at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

WASHINGTON D.C. / ORANGEBURG, SC (WACH) -- Within these hallowed walls of Claflin University lies countless memories of the civil rights movement.

Dr. Martin Luther King Junior even visited the campus.

So when it was announced that there would be a commemoration of the March on Washington, students and faculty here jumped at the chance.

With blankets, pillows and bags in hand students left Orangeburg on a chartered bus bound for Washington D.C. for a chance to walk the same path as those who fought for racial harmony.

"It was mindboggling. Iâ??ve never been to the national mall, so itâ??s really a historic site to me,â?? says Thomas Harris, Claflin University junior.

â??This is a really unified event," says Darius Stanton, Claflin University, senior.

"It was a very inspiring and very moving experience," says Keiko Cooley, Claflin University SGA Vice President.

Thomas, Darius and Keiko. Three Claflin students reflecting on their time at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

For these three the march was about following a legacy of family members who fought for racial equality.

Darius says his grandfather William Henry Johnson participated in a sit in back in November of 1960.

He along with others in this newspaper clipping gathered to remember how they protested segregation at the Terminal Restaurant in Annapolis, Maryland.

â??I feel connected and indebted to him to be here. All of this is really beneficial. We just have to make sure that after these marches we continue to work,â?? says Stanton.

The Claflin three and others also marched for immigration, jobs and better education.

â??The struggle is still on, so we still need to keep on fighting. We need to march we need to do more things. We need to protest. We need to have more political power, economic power,â?? says Harris.

Keiko says her grandmother shared stories about how racism affected their ancestors.

â??They actually took part in the great migration and that was really cool and learning later on in life what the great migration was and to know that's how my family ended up all the way in Indiana from Mississippi and from Alabama,â?? says Cooley.

Folks also marched to bring attention to what some call inequality in the justice system especially after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Some critics argue that these types of rallies and marches incite more hatred and bigotry but Keiko disagrees.

â??Parts of his dream have come to realization; his dream hasn't been fulfilled yet. Thereâ??s still racism, there's still inequality,â?? says Cooley.

Just recently the Supreme Court decided that states don't have to go through the federal government to make changes to their voting laws.

Some feel that decision was a slap in the face to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

â??Get in touch with your legislator, your senator, thatâ??s key. Thatâ??s important make sure that you are voting that you are able to vote,â?? says Stanton.

These students say they're going to take what they've experienced and bring the momentum back to their peers.