Dr. King used words like these and peaceful demonstrations to help evolve our society from one of hatred and segregation to one of tolerance and acceptance. Monday, the Coast celebrated with camaraderie and music in the 28th annual parade through downtown Gulfport. Coast legislator, Representative Sonya Williams-Barnes, District 119, was the Grand Marshal. Williams-Barnes says, "Knowing that Dr. Martin Luther King was such a man of service to his community and to society. I’m honored to serve as the Grand Marshal today."
Those News 25 spoke with say this isn’t just about celebrating Dr. King life. It’s about continuing his legacy and teaching our children the importance of everything he did. Some kids shared with News 25 what they already know about M.L.K. Jr. One kid says, "He wanted everyone to gather like a big family."
Another child says, "He tried to make us blacks and whites equal."
Another child says, "He was fighting for the rights so he could have a better life, so we could have a better life."
Coast residents say as far as we have come since the Civil Rights Movement, there are still issues of inequality plaguing our society today. Parents say if we start teaching our children the values Dr. King stood for at a young age, they could be the next leaders in civil activism.
Lakisha McClendon, a Gulfport resident, closes, "He represented and taught everyone non-violence. That was the main concept, non-violence. If we start out letting them know what we did and others did to get us to this point today, I think that’s a good start."