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Valley students learn lesson in civil rights

January 15, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Martin Luther King Jr. never gave a speech at Hidalgo Elementary School here.

On Monday, however, students at Hidalgo experienced what a sermon by King might be like if he were alive.

It was not just a sermon but facts and stories about King the kids heard Monday, all told by Phil D. Wallace, 33, of Memphis Tenn.

Wallace is a performer with Mobile Ed Productions Inc. of Redford, Mich. Wallace travels across the country visiting schools to teach students, through performance and speeches, about the lives of some heroic African-Americans who fought for civil rights.

Wallace said, "I love seeing their (students') faces light up when they learn something new. That's what drives me across the country.

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"I hope they get inspired to stand up for what they believe in," he added.

Wallace lives right around the corner from the motel where King was assassinated. He said every time he walks by that spot he is reminded of the shooting.

Wallace will perform at another school in Brawley and one in El Centro today before leaving the Valley.

The other figures he portrays and talks about are Frederick Douglass and Langston Hughes.

>> Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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