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St. Augustine remembers Dr. King with march on MLK Avenue

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Updated: 1/20 7:24 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Fifty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched the streets of St. Augustine. On Monday, members of the St. Augustine community are continuing that tradition.

Members of the St. Augustine community marched the same path King marched in 1964.

"St. Augustine is a place that really needed his assistance, he called it one of the most lawless places in America," said Rev. Ron Rawls, pastor of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Rawls said the civil rights movement made its mark in St. Augustine.

Rawls said King led rallies and preached in the sanctuary of the church.

"The chairs that Dr. King sat in the pulpit, we actually kept those chairs," said Rawls.

But he also hit the streets to march to the plaza like those who marched in his name today.

"Not only did he come here, he got involved. He went to jail, he marched with the people," said Margaret Rickerson.

The church has the copy of the fingerprints from when King was arrested for marching to the plaza.

The fingerprints represent a fight that Rickerson said she appreciates now people of all colors could stand together.

"I know it seems like every year, it's about Dr. Martin Luther King, but it means so much for us to know that Dr. King made a statement," said Rickerson.

"It was the blacks marching from this church downtown, and so I felt like we were taking that same walk and today it's a mixed crowd, it's not just all black people its everybody," Marlene Jostin.

Though Rickerson said we've come a long way, she also said St. Augustine still has an even longer way to go.

"The civil rights movement made a change in that era, in where we go to college, where we eat, where we sleep, where we live -- everything has changed."

Rawls said about 150 people participated in the march but he hopes to have hundreds more next year.
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