Big Bend Community Members Gather in Marfa for MLK Day Read-Off

Community members gathered on the steps of the Presidio County courthouse in Marfa on January 16th to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King for a read off: five hours straight of inspiring civil rights passages. The lineup featured speeches from Cesar Chavez, Michelle Obama, George Takei, Elie Wiesel and more, dating from the 1800s to now, all read by volunteers from the community.

Gretel Enck was one of the organizers and explained that she and Anne Marie Nafzinger organized the event because “it seems like a wonderful way to celebrate not only the legacy of Dr. King but really apply it to our world today.” Before the event, Enck said that she hoped it would “inspire people to use the lessons of Dr. king and other civil rights and human rights leaders to do some work that needs to be done today.”

Marfa ISD superintendent Oscar Aguerro kicked off the event by reading Dr. King’s I have a dream speech. He says he was nervous before he recited the passage, and said, “nothing compares to that speech, being a history major and historian, I’ve heard it and listened to it and researched it many a time.” Aguerro asked himself, “ do I imitate… which there is no imitation of it, or do I read it as I would read it?”

Ultimately, he decided to read it as himself.


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