Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, Rev. James Orange has led numerous marches for Civil Rights. And more than 30 years ago, he led one here in South Mississippi.
"I coordinated one back in 1975. Chris Moore, I marched to save his life, and eventually the case was overturned, and he's out today. We marched with people from Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson County down the Gulf Coast, really to raise the issue of injustice that was being done to him. Eventually we were heard," Rev. Orange says.
During the celebration, Rev. Orange reviewed the legacy left by King, but he and other Civil Rights leaders pointed out the struggle for equality for all races and genders is still not over.
"Even though we're doing better now than we were in the sixties, there are still some things we need to be concerned about and trying to push in terms of getting equal rights for everybody. The Latinos are moving in now, and they need someone to bat for them," says James Crowell, the Celebration Chairman.
During the ceremony, the life of another renowned local Civil Rights leader, Dr. Gilbert Mason, Sr., was observed. The South Mississippi doctor is known for spearheading beach wade-ins and fighting for school integration in South Mississippi. He passed away last year.