South Mississippians celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's life

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The sound of motorcycles could be heard on Highway 49 as more than 100 bikers hit the road to honor a true trailblazer.

"Martin Luther King had a dream, and we are just making sure we keep it going," Thomas McCoy said.

McCoy is the president of the Down South Burners Motorcycle Club. He says the yearly bike ride also helps raise money for other coast-wide MLK celebrations.

"It is not about ripping and running down the road, but we try to do a good cause."

"We are riding for love, peace, and harmony pretty much," Tim Smith said.

A few miles away, at Little Rock Baptist Church, the mass choir sang praises at a service held to celebrate the man with a big dream.

Biloxi NAACP President James Crowell was among the special guests at the event.  He says the celebration is very significant this year because Dr. King's vision is finally being seen in America.

"On Tuesday, we will inaugurate the first black president. And Dr. King saw that dream, that one day it would happen. We need to let our young people know about  the struggle, and we didn't just get here over night, people lost their lives," Crowell said.

Crowell and many other attendees agree that there is more unity in the Untied States since the days of King, but it's still important that everyone continues to strive for a better nation.

"I have a dream was about the character of individuals and the future of individuals, and only when we when we continue to celebrate that, we will reach that future," MLK Committee Yasin Shabazz said.

Down South Burners Motorcycle group raised more than $1,100 for the Coast-Wide MLK Birthday Celebration.