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Heard on the Street: South Carolina MLK Celebration

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

We're going to end our program today and our visit to South Carolina with a segment we call, Heard on the Street. Hundreds of South Carolinians marched in Columbia yesterday to commemorate the federal holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. The freezing cold did not weaken the crowd's spirits as they walked toward the state's capital.

Mr. MOUSA ACHROM(ph): My name is Mousa Achrom. I'm from Columbia, South Carolina, and I'm here for the King Day celebration. I think in some ways, he would be pleased with the progress that we have made, not only as African-Americans, but Americans as well. And I think that he would also see that we still have some things that we have to work on, and we still have quite a ways to go.

Ms. BRITNEY RIPPLEWATER(ph): My name is Britney Ripplewater. I'm from Aiken, South Carolina. I'm here because when I first heard about they're going to have pretty much a march downtown, I was interested. Every since - I was reading about the civil movements and everything, how it started, I was interested. It's kind of like a moment in history, and I wanted to be here and kind of experience it. So I was hoping to kind get that here and to, like, relive the moment. Oh, Martin Luther King, Jr. means a lot to me. Without him, I wouldn't be able to attend the (unintelligible) University I go to now and excel in all the things that I would like to do. I think he was just a great inspirational leader. I wish he was still here, but I'm glad we have, like, people that are still around, that are following his footsteps and having the same beliefs and pushing forward in the same way that he was.

Mr. DERRICK MURROW(ph): Hello. My name is Derrick Murrow. I'm from (unintelligible) South Carolina. Martin Luther King, he was a great guy. He was a great leader, great civil rights leader. And it's a very important that everyone should remember that, regardless of what situation we're at now. There's a lot of great civil rights leaders out here, too. So, this brings all us together, not only because the situation, what's going on today, but it make - this make - this bring us more closer together and make us love one another that are hating one another.

Ms. MINNIE JOHNSON: My name's Minnie Johnson, and the sign says: King Day at the Dome. Power beyond measure. Equity in education for all schools now. Columbia, South Carolina. We're talking about equality for all people. What brings me out is, first of all, the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. He was a great man. He did a lot, not only for African-Americans, but for all colors. And it's just a special day because we are talking about 40 years. And it's just history in the making.

MARTIN: And that's what we heard on the street in Columbia, South Carolina. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.