Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations spark change in local cities
January 17 is a day set aside to remember the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
EUPORA, Miss. (WCBI)- January 17 is a day set aside to remember the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; observances were held in many towns and cities across the area. Above all Dr. Martin Luther King Jr wanted to see a change, and the folks in Eupora carried on his work to bring about that change.
“I want to continue on what he had started and that’s why I’m out here today. Here in Eupora we’re trying to make a change and like our shirts say ” A change is gonna come” That’s what Dr. Martin Luther King wanted and that’s what we’re making happen too,” said Eupora resident Kenya James.
The city held it’s fourth M.L.K Day Parade and each year it has grown each year. Roughly 50 people marched or rode along the route and over 100 people met at the end to continue the program. Speakers at that program focused on The Freedom to Vote Act named after King’s fellow activist John Lewis; a bill that’s facing a tough fight in Congress.
M.L.K committee chairman James Townsend and former mayor of Eupora Lamar Dumas said they feel Dr. King would be proud of where the world has come since his assassination, but there’s still work that needs to be done.
“I think we’ve made progress, but I still believe we have a long ways to go toward equality; especially with the job market and things like that,” said Townsend.
“The children are our future so we’re going to have to take a stand right now to try and make a difference in this community,” said Dumas.
That change doesn’t just happen overnight; Dr. King fought for years and in the nearly 54 years since his death, others have been carrying that fight forward.
“It takes some humility; somebody’s going to have to humble themselves and understand it’s not about them it’s about what we’re going to do to try to build this community, state, and nation to what it can be,” said Dumas.
“You just can’t do it alone; you have to bring everybody together unite the base and that’s why I wanted to come out and show my support because I think this is vital to our small city to growing where we want to get to,” said mayor Blake McMullan.
Event organizers and town leaders said that Martin Luther King Jr. Day shouldn’t be the only day that folks try to make a change. It should be a daily push to get where folks like Dr. King would want it to be.