Petersburg man walks to D.C. in honor of MLK - - The News for South Mississippi

Petersburg man walks to D.C. in honor of MLK


The day of his death, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior was supposed to walk from Petersburg, to Washington, D.C.

Carl Winfield organized the march, one that never happened.

"I was planning a walk from Petersburg, to Washington," said Winfield.

Winfield walks every day, but the journey he was supposed to take on April 4, 1968 was different. Dr. King was due to arrive in Suffolk, meeting Carl in Petersburg.

"Dr. King was supposed to go to Suffolk, because we were boycotting Suffolk, against a hospital," said Winfield. "Then from the hospital, they were going up to Washington."

Instead, a change of plans that changed everything - King went to Memphis to resolve a strike, where he was assassinated.

Winfield ended up walking the 131 miles from Petersburg to D.C. for President Obama's inauguration.

Back in '68, the walk went forward after King's death, but the loss was unmistakable.

"We still did it. But I don't think it was a... that thrill, because everybody was sad about Dr. King's death."

On the 50th anniversary of "I have a dream," Carl is dreaming his next steps.

Planning to walk from Petersburg to King's home in Birminghmam, and then on to Memphis. He does it to keep Dr. King's dream alive and says there have been great strides over 50 years.

In his view, changes should be made to how we seek social justice.

"We have gotten away from the religious side, and into the politics way of trying to motivate people. And we always should stay the Christian way, and that means you can get a lot more accomplished and people will come to you, rather than fear you."

Dr. King visited Petersburg 13 times, and Carl takes this away from his legacy:

"Never think about yourself, think about other people. That's what Dr. King always led me that way."

And that's what leads him down the road, to places near and far in King's memory.

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