Black said she has seen numerous students recite King's “I Have a Dream” speech in previous weeks, which she thinks is great. But she tries to impart to students that King's memory and lessons should not be restricted to one time a year.
“To me, every month of my life is Black History Month,” she said.
“And I think it's the same way with Dr. King. I mean, having a holiday is great, but that doesn't mean you stop showing the principles he stood for the rest of the time.”
Oklahoma State University's African-American Student Association held an event Wednesday that celebrated King with speeches and music by a gospel choir. The gathering drew a diverse crowd, said Evan Woodson, event coordinator.
Woodson said his aim was to be more inclusive for OSU's campus, where the majority of students are white.
“When we promote MLK Day, we sometimes promote it as something that is for African-Americans and African-Americans only,” Woodson said. “And I think that is an extreme failure on our part. King's influence is so much bigger than just the black community; it's the whole country. And that's why I think it's important to talk about him.”