|Updated: 1/24 8:36 am
||Published: 1/21 5:05 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Kingfest Martin Luther King parade is held in downtown Pine Bluff Monday. Bundled to beat the nip in the air, people lined the sidewalks to remember the slain civil rights leader.
“We have freedom now because of Martin Luther King,” said participant Sanaa Ragland.
Groups chanted “happy birthday” as they marched through the streets. Several community and church organizations participated.
“I live Dr. Kings dream by striving to be a productive citizen everyday,” said participant Maleek Ware.
Local fraternities and sororities also sponsored floats and banners.
“This actually allows me to give back, not only to my community back at home, but my community here because I do go to school here,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc member Ashley Forest.
Planners say the parade is what Dr. King would have wanted, people of all ages, backgrounds, and races coming together for the common theme of love.
In a city that is majority black, leaders say the recent election of Mayor Debe Hollingsworth is proof the city’s people don’t factor race in their vote. Hollingsworth is white.
“It doesn’t make any difference. It’s about who is the most qualified, who can get the job done. I think that speaks volumes for where we are today as a society,” said Hollingsworth.
Young citizens at the parade also understand what it means to respect your fellow man.
“You treat them like you would like to be treated,” said Katlin Pridgeon.