AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Monday, members of the Amarillo community gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights movement, peacefully protesting racial inequality. King led multiple protests and rallies until his assassination in 1968.
“He gave his life to fight for the injustices that people are fighting every day,” said Melodie Graves, President of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People, Amarillo Branch. “So having events like this brings to the forefront what he was fighting for and also allows us to see how far we’ve come, but also instills in us that we still have a long way to go.”
The parade began at North Hughes street and ended at Bones Brooks Park, where the celebration lasted until 2 p.m. The celebration brought out a diverse crowd with Amarillo Independent School District bands, cheerleaders and dancers participating.
As well as local organizations coming together for one purpose.
“It’s amazing you know Dr. King fought so hard for equality and justice and so to be here today and have such a diverse crowd out here, supporting that message supporting moving forward it’s just it’s a beautiful thing to see,” said Titiana Frausto, Judge for the 181 District Court for Potter and Randall Counties.
The event had music, food, vendors, community speakers and an onsite health fair from the Amarillo Public Health Department.
During the celebration at the park members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., hung a reef to honor Dr. King and encourage people to remember what he stood for.
“All community members should remember Dr. King because of the life that he lived and the principles that he stood on are integral in helping our communities move forward,” said Bowden Jones Jr., member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. “I think that as we embody those principles it allows us to be a better community, better state and better nation.”
Throughout the nation, multiple events were held in Dr. King’s honor. Something that Frausto said each community should do.
“Each community in and of itself needs to find a way to honor the legacy of Dr. King,” said Frausto. “I’m happy to see Amarillo doing just that, gathered together to honor is legacy and his memory with a community wide event where everyone can come together.”
2023, marks the 37th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Jones said he hopes this day encourages people to live life with some of the same values as Dr. King.
“I hope they take away what Dr. King stood for and that they will live their lives with respect of others and treating people equally and they’re contributing to the betterment of mankind,” said Jones.
Graves, one of the event organizers believes that over 300 people were in attendance.
Sunday would have been Dr. King’s 94th birthday.