Mississippi teenagers walking 50 miles to honor MLK reach Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group of teenagers are walking 50 miles to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and be a part of continuing his work.

They started their hike Saturday in the North Mississippi town of Dundee, and made it into Memphis on Tuesday.

"The students are taking the lead in the next generation's change on racial and economic justice," said Jarvis Ward, the teens' mentor.

That's the same message King preached before his assassination in Memphis 50 years ago.

"We're marching 50 miles to commemorate that," he said.

The teens, between 14 and 19 years old, walked up to 15 miles a day with their mentors from The Pearson Foundation, a faith-based mentoring and community service organization based in Pearl, Mississippi.

"We've had the sheriff's department escorting us, and a lot of blue lights behind us. In 1968, if you were marching, generally, it wasn't a safe thing to have blue lights behind you. Things have changed," said Ward.

It's the change the mentors say they discussed as they made their way into Memphis.

The group hopes to pave the way for a better future — a future Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have dreamed of.