ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXZY) — Elizabeth James says her favorite holiday is Martin Luther King Day, because it reminds her of when she and her grandmother went to one of his Marches.
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It was June 23, 1963 when James and her grandmother dressed up and headed to Woodward Avenue.
“I was very young and I remember my grandmother being very excited and my grandmother saying, 'Beth we are going to have a special day,'” James said.
MLK MARCH: It was Sunday, June 23rd in 1963 when Elizabeth James’ grandmother took her to march alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.— Ali Hoxie (@ali_hoxie) January 20, 2020
It’s a day she says she will never forget, even though she was only three when she attended the march. @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/FZZgDQvG0P
She says at first she was frightened, but the fear dissipated quickly.
“Everybody was so kind and they were in a really great mood, and yet, they were very strident in the way they were caring themselves. They were afraid at all or any sense of anger that type of feeling wasn’t there, it was just a lot of love a lot of hope," she added.
James says being in the same space as the king inspired her career. She now works as a program manager for the University of Michigan as part of the department of Afro-American and African Studies.
Every Martin Luther King Day, she remembers that march she attended when she was just a little girl.
“This day to me is, that’s why it is my favorite national holiday because it’s the one that is dedicated to peace and equality for all.”