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Why We March

January 15, 2018

As I was preparing for this blog post, I reviewed some materials in the Mario Marcel Salas papers on the history of the MLK Day March in San Antonio. One of the items I came across stated, “Know Why You Are Marching.” This made me think about the broad cross section of materials housed in Special Collections with images depicting many marches over the years. These photographs capture the reasons we march in a way that mere words never could. I share them today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who inspired us all to march for a more equitable, just, and peaceful world.

Mario Marcel Salas leading San Antonio’s MLK Day March, undated, Mario Marcel Salas Papers, MS 142

 

Cesar Chavez marching in San Antonio during the Grape Boycott, Jaime Martinez scrapbook, MS 490

 

AIDS quilt Names Project, Washington D.C., 1987, Happy Foundation Archives Collection, MS 394

AIDS quilt square in memory of Hap Veltman, San Antonio business entrepreneur, Happy Foundation Archives Collection, MS 394

 

March on Austin for Gay Rights, 1993, Marquise Collection, MS 418

March on Austin for gay rights, 1993, Marquise Collection, MS 418

 

International Women’s Day March, San Antonio, late 1990s, Marquise Collection, MS 418

 

Activist signs and ephemera, International Women’s Day March, 2017, Activism Signs and Ephemera Collection, MS 483

My mother at the International Women’s Day March, 2017, San Antonio, Photograph by Melissa Gohlke

At 79 years old, my mom had never participated in a march. She was so determined to be a part of the International Women’s Day march (as was I) that we endured hours of pouring rain as we walked with hundreds of other people through the flooded streets of downtown San Antonio. I will never forget the feeling of solidarity as the crowd chanted, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights.” I will never forget the privilege of walking with my mother by my side.

Why do we march? We march for change. We march for equality. We march for a better world. We march for peace. Today, I will join hundreds of thousands who gather on San Antonio’s east side to march to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, we march because the truths he stated decades ago are unfortunately still true today.

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. . . We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.

MLK Day March, Mario Marcel Salas Papers, MS 142

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 15, 2018 9:11 am

    Reblogged this on stillness of heart.

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