DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — For decades people have been fighting for equality, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr.
Long-time activist Bettie Mae Fikes made a stop at Penn State Scranton on Tuesday.
Bettie Mae Fikes travels the country continuing to fight for civil and human rights. Her journey of activism started with Martin Luther King Jr., at the age of 15.
She marched with Dr. King on many occasions. Her stories are real and so is her emotion. Bettie embraces colleges like Penn State Scranton, which offers an MLK program.
“I come telling them about the foundation that we laid 60 years ago for them to build off today,” said Keynote Speaker, Bettie Mae Fikes.
Fikes shared her experience as a black teenager in public.
“Where they would take cigarettes and you sit there non violently,” Fikes said.
Her stories, along with the stories of many other civil rights activists are being shared with students in person, and more than a hundred online.
“It was the students in the 60s and it is going to take the students today,” Fikes said.
“This is something we learn about but to actually be able to listen to a witness of that, a member of that freedom movement is very humbling,” explained Jonathan Price, sophomore student.
Jonathan Price is the Vice President for the college’s Black Student Union. The group has grown to more than two dozen. Their mission is to take what they learn and make an impact in the community while keeping Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision alive.
“There were none of the riots, he wasn’t a proponent of any violence or anything like that. I think we need that today,” said Price.
Bettie Mae Fikes lives in Los Angeles but is from Selma, Alabama.
She is known as “The Voice of Selma.”