Knoxville man remembers marching with Dr. King

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Twenty-two years ago, Martin Luther King, Junior day was established as a national holiday in the United States paving the way for his life and legacy to teach others.

In Knoxville, Avon Rollins, is still passing on his dream.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt talked with the man who marched with Dr. King.

Avon Rollins say, "He said, if you have not found anything worth dying for, you're not fit to live."

For most of his life, Martin Luther King, Junior felt equality and justice were worth dying for.

He traveled all over the country preaching through non-violent means.

By his side was Avon Rollins, "Some of the communities we ended up in demonstration, they had the dogs, the fire house, etc."

Rollins says, "People ask me, was I afraid, the answer was yes. Often times I could hear my teeth chattering out of fear."

Rollins says he faced a different, hurting America, "You're putting your life on the line. People would beat you uncontrollably. You could buy food at some of the lunch counters but you had to go on the street to eat it. "

But he was able to hide his fear and fight for equality because of advice he received from Dr. King, "Stand up for justice, speak out, to be overt and to try to leave your footprints deep in the sands of time for others to follow. Dr. King's vision of the future has not been realized. We still have a long way to go."

Rollins says future generations need to find some way to carry on Dr. King's dream, "They need to promote each and every day, 365 days a year in terms of making this America, an America to all of God's children."

Rollins is the Executive Director at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center.

To learn more about the center, click on the link below.


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