WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - The Hancock County community came together to commemorate the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on his nationally recognized holiday.
Love and justice were at the forefront of the events that took place in Waveland on Monday. Events like the march were designed for attendees to recognize the power of Martin Luther King Jr.'s message.
Members of the community and organizations such as the Hancock County NAACP, marched through Waveland to celebrate the King’s legacy: fighting for unity and justice for all. The march also was supposed to exemplify the importance of the community working together.
“A lot of people have made strides,” said Gregory Barabino with the Hancock County NAACP. “Some have made tremendous strides. Collectively, we have not made much progress, so I’m out here trying to bring everybody on the same page as far as where we are at this moment and where we need to be.”
King not only fought for civil and human rights, he also pushed for voting rights. Historical strides were made; however, the dream of a more perfect union still continues.
“If we stepped back to see how far we’ve come and what the needs of all the people are, especially poor people, then we could have a better America,” said Barbara Coatney from the Federation of Democratic Women.
Other special events were held around Waveland. An exhibit featuring artwork inspired by Dr. King opened at the Studio Waveland Gallery on Coleman Avenue.
The city cut the ribbon on the new Martin Luther King Community Center at MLK Park.
“It’s only taken a year to get built,” according to Waveland Mayor Mike Smith, “from the time it was funded to being built. That’s pretty miraculous.”
Reverend King was a deeply religious man. People gathered at Mount Chapel Baptist Church in Waveland to honor King’s memory and commit to a vow to carry the mission forward.
“That’s why we’re out today,” Pastor Robert Preston said, “to celebrate what he started and what we need to do to carry on.”
The exhibit at the Studio Waveland Gallery will be on display over the next few weeks.