On Martin Luther King Jr’s Day, my niece and I took the Celebration Train from San Jose to San Francisco. This is the third time we’ve gone together to the Freedom Train and the Martin Luther King Jr Day March in SF, and we both enjoy it. I’m glad she’d learning about the history of protest and its importance in creating positive social change.
This year, we sang a lot more songs than in previous time. Many civil rights songs and church songs. I won a free MLK shirt when I answered a question that the conductor was asking the passengers.
During the march from the train station to Yerba Buena Gardens, I noticed a lot more optimism among the crowd. There is still concern about the increase in racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry, but there is also hope after the 2018 elections.
It was cool to see how inclusive the marchers were. I saw Muslim women with hijabs smiling and saying hello to anyone passing by. Gay and lesbian couples were holding hands and holding signs with quotes of Martin Luther King Jr. Families of all races were having a great time.
Like in the Women’s March a few days ago, there were drummers marching with the crowd. I’m not sure why, but I think drummers add an energy to a march that lifts everyone’s spirits. It’s always thrilling to hear the beat of the drums.