Hundreds turn out for MLK parade - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hundreds turn out for MLK parade

(WMC-TV) - Memphians came out Monday to honor the memory of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hundreds took part in the annual parade in Downtown Memphis, watching or riding in floats.

Led by a caravan of motorcycles, marchers took to the streets for a parade honoring King.

"He was a civil rights leader," said 9-year-old Tedrick Garner.

"I'm also out here to empower people and let people know about some of the things that Dr. King did and why we should keep his legacy alive," said marcher Gene Burse.

Some of those who marched were not even born when King was assassinated.  Others were old enough to remember what Memphis was like before King began working to bring equality to the Bluff City.

"I can remember marching and demonstrating up and down Main Street so African Americans can work in these stores," said Memphian Suhkara Yahweh.  "I remember all of that.  I remember what we had to go through.  I remember all the beatings and everything we suffered on Main Street."

King would have been 83 this month.

The Commission on Religion and Racism organized Monday's march.  Veteran civil rights pioneers said they were motivated by the turnout.

"This day means very much to me as a civil rights veteran pioneer in reference to Dr. King," said Memphian Georgia King.  "I'm very happy to have lived to see this day with all of the young people and their families coming out.  It means that we have not arrived yet, but we are still in progress."

Marchers said while King's fight for civil rights won some victories, the fight is not over.  They said the new battleground is the economy and the ballot box.

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