Residents rally in honor of MLK holiday

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must transcend our race,
our tribe, our class, and our nation.” –  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Walden

Local community leaders stood in front of a diverse crowd emphasizing Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and equality for all.

On a chilly Monday morning hundreds of residents rallied at the Florida capitol, where a panel of local leaders voiced ways that as a nation can continue to build the legacy of Rev. Dr. King

“Although we have made some progress, we still have a long way to go,” said Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox. 

“In light of some of the things we have seen over the years from the law enforcement and from different people in our nation against people of color, I would say that we're not there yet,” Maddox continued.

Endorsing the significance of King's dream, each speaker displayed gratitude to the members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for the opportunity to reach out to the community.

Cassandra Jenkins, lifetime member of both the NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., said that she strives to continue the legacy of Rev. Dr. King by executing her service in the community through her involvement as an AKA.

“We participated in a weekend of activities, and coming out to support this event was a part of those activities,” Jenkins said. “Community outreach was a part of Dr. King's dream and reaching back to help others, so that's what we are about."

Since Rev. Dr. King’s birthday falls on the same day that AKA was founded, the organization is in attendance every year, according to Jenkins. “We have been supporting this event since Tallahassee’s first citywide celebration. It just works out that his birthday is the same day as the founders day of our sorority, so we always come out to support along with other activities in the city,” Jenkins continued.

FAMU student reports on MLK commeration rally 
Photo credit: Kaitlyn Walden

As Family Worship and Praise Center’s choir performed several inspirational hymns, the sound began to attract even more people to the event. Someone that was attracted by the choir was Kaitlyn Walden.

Walden, who is a freshman at Florida State University majoring in music therapy, said that the music caught her attention. “I had no idea this was going on. I happened to be taking a walk in the area and I noticed the loud music so I stopped by,” Walden said. “I’m glad that I did because this is my first time ever going to a MLK event.”

The event was concluded by Florida's 5th Congressional District representative, Al Lawson by stating “we have ways to go, but King built a legacy for all of us to follow.”