Freedom Walk to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in its own way

SAN ANTONIO – Following the same route for Monday’s MLK March, the Freedom Walk this Saturday will cover a lot of ground over those nearly two miles.

“From Proclamation to Legislation to Manifestation” is the theme of the -second-annual Freedom Walk, a Dreamweek event depicting civil rights milestones.

“The whole point of the Freedom Walk is to focus on (King’s) life and his message,” said Bishop Charles Flowers of Faith Outreach Center International.

Flowers also leads San Antonio in Black, White and Brown, the nonprofit that organized the walk last year.

He said it began after the MLK March went virtual due to COVID-19.

“We just felt like we needed to express our desire to see that dream continue last year,” Flowers said.

Yet he also said having taken part in the MLK March each year, it seemed to him the march had become too political and left-leaning.

“Not only heard it — I’ve seen it. I’ve seen that it has taken on those kinds of characteristics,” Flowers said.

But Dwayne Robinson, chair of the San Antonio Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, said, “Everyone has a right to their own opinion. The size of our march speaks for itself, and it is growing.”

“Those who want to keep doing what they were doing, they’re free to do it,” Flowers said. “Our intention is just to refocus on the life and on the message of Dr. King.”

Flowers said the Freedom Walk would do it by stopping along the way to re-enact four milestones in the struggle for civil rights.

The first will be a re-enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation at Lincoln Park, then proceed to Second Baptist Church.

“It was churches that were bombed. It was spiritual leaders who were lynched and assassinated because the church had a voice,” Flowers said. “It’s time for the church to reclaim its voice, take its moral position to be both the language of light and love to and in the culture.”

The third stop will be near the Commerce Street Bridge to remember the Bloody Sunday confrontation on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Flowers said the San Antonio Police Department will be represented “to give what I believe to be healing statements about the relationship between the police department and the general population.”

He said the Freedom Walk would conclude at Martin Luther King Jr. Park with religious and community leaders addressing the manifestation aspect of the Freedom Walk.

“It’s our time now just to manifest what others have died to achieve,” Flowers said. “This is our moment. We’re going to step into it.”

From 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday, Flowers said buses will leave from Freeman Coliseum and St. Philip’s College to Lincoln Park for the Freedom Walk from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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