By Campbell Lake
North Cross middle and upper school students experienced a taste of American history during the Martin Luther King Jr. presentation on Jan. 15.
Speakers including Community Outreach Coordinator Alex Hash, Upper School Director Mark Thompson, and Headmaster Dr. Christian J. Proctor spoke in celebration of the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Local NAACP President Brenda Hale also added her voice, which was well received by students. After the presentation, the halls were buzzing with positive comments and reflections about Hale’s wise words.
“What I liked most about Mrs. Hale’s speech was her passion,” Isaiah Harris (’15) said. “She gave me something to look up to and aspire to with my senior speech coming up.”
Each presenter took the time to voice their opinion on the matter, and Hale shared personal experiences that completely captured her audience.
Hash took the time to recite an excerpt from Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech in his moment on stage. He later went on to reflect upon King’s wise words.
“The power of a dream,” Hash said. “It wasn’t easy. Seeing your dreams come true is never easy.”
Hash went on to introduce the school to Hale, the reigning president of the Roanoke Branch NAACP since 2001. Her kind face and humble appearance seemed to grip the students, parents and faculty throughout the auditorium.
Hale’s speech touched upon both the hardships King faced and his accomplishments in his never ending struggle for equality for all races. Hale casually mentioned that she had the unique opportunity to meet King as a young high school student. King stopped by her small high school in Connecticut during one of his many tours to spread awareness and spark ideas of equality.
“It was so exciting to have someone of his caliber there,” said Hale of King’s unexpected visit to her school, “someone in the trenches that was out doing peaceful protest in the Deep South.”
In Hale’s account of the event, she explained how she was taken up on the stage and was given the privilege to shake the iconic figure’s hand.
“He [King] even pulled my pigtails!” she said. “It was a very special time, that’s something that you’ll never forget. Just like no one will forget the times he sacrificed so much for us. Everyone can still recollect exactly what they were doing when they heard the news that MLK was assassinated.”