MLK Parade focuses on youth and King's legacy
The theme of this year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Kingsport was "Remember, Celebrate and Act."
"The dream itself has come to pass and in some aspects, but we have not arrived. We think there is still work to be done," said Ronnie Collins of the Tennessee-Virginia Fellowship Against Racism.
And with that mission in mind, Ronnie Collins led the march down Center Street.
Collins is the head of Tennessee-Virginia Fellowship Against Racism. He tells News 5 the goal of this year's parade was to relay Dr. King’s message to young people so they fully understand the rights they have today. "I think because they've grown up in the aspect that everything is good. Blacks and whites are already going to school together, there's no segregation. All those things are something they hear about, but it's nothing they ever experience," said Collins.
After the parade was over, marchers didn't go home -- they went to city hall to see how they can live out the legacy of Dr. King’s dream.
Katie Millard tells us as teenager she's seen new civil rights challenges, but she believes King's dream still applies. "The 'I Have a Dream' speech said that everyone was created equal, no matter what your skin color or sexual orientation or anything is," she said.
Deidra Lewis and her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha tell us they continue to be a part of the march so society won't forget King's legacy. "We come out year after year, because you can easily lose significance. We want to keep it fresh in everybody's mind, and in our organization's mind, the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy," said Deidra Lewis.
After the parade, Collins presented the first ever "Keeping the Dream Alive" award to the Hope and New Vision youth organization in Kingsport.
This was the 14th year of the parade.
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