While thousands are in Washington D.C. Saturday, one Columbus woman who was a member of Dr. King's church in college is commemorating this day at home. Gloria L. Battle vividly remembers the civil rights era during her college years.
She was a freshman at Alabama State University in 1954 almost 10 years before the march on Washington. She remembers a time when civil unrest was commonplace in Montgomery especially surrounding Dr. King.
"Well the night that the house was bombed we felt the jolt from the bombing in our room and it made us afraid," said Battle. She remembers Dr. King as more than just a civil rights activist. She went to his church weekly after bible study.
"Revered King was on our campus every day. When we had basketball games at Lockhart's gym back in the day, he sat with the coaches and encouraged the young men as they played basketball," said Battle.
When she graduated college, she became an educator and taught in Muscogee county for 20 years. Battle was a teacher at Dawson Elementary School when the March on Washington happened in 1963.
"We gathered in the cafetorium and watched it on t.v. because I just could not go that particular year," said Battle. She says Dr. King's memory stays close to her heart especially when she visits his D.C. memorial.
"When you look up at his face it seems like his eyes are following you whichever side you move to and it's a grand experience," said Battle. She is proud that groups went to Washington D.C. to spend time learning more about our country's history on the 50th Anniversary of the march.
"We cannot really know and be proud of what's happening today without knowing where we came from," said Battle.
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