Local civil rights leader to D.C. for MLK memorial

By: Mario Boone Email
By: Mario Boone Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Civil rights legend Avon Rollins walks down memory lane to America's dark past. He got a front row seat to racism and Jim Crow marching with Dr. Martin Luther King.

Well this weekend Rollins will relive painful memories when he journeys to Washington, D.C. for the unveiling of the King Memorial. "It's a monument for the people of the civil rights movement," said Rollins.

The sprawling site features excerpts from Dr. King's most famous sermons and, of course, his statue standing 30-feet tall. He's the first non-president to be honored with a spot on the National Mall.

Rollins, who now serves as director of the Beck Cultural Center, says the monument isn't just for Dr. King. "Many people who marched with him, who stood with him, provided housing for us," said Rollins.

Others agree. "It was a great thing, I wish he was alive to see it. But it's a very good thing," said Tazzman Walker.

"I think it says a lot about where we have come as a nation. I think it's long overdue," said Rev. Charles Lomax.

But Rollins cautions America not to be fooled into believing the struggle for equality is over. "Justice has not arrived yet. Freedom has not arrived for all of its people. We still have a long way to go."

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