The 36th annual “original” MLK, Jr. birthday parade began in front of Minute Maid Park, went through downtown and ended at Discovery Green.
One of the many marching bands that helped set the festive mood came from UH:
Kids young and old were enjoying the perfect weather to help celebrate Dr King’s birthday. I asked some of them one question:
Hernandez: “What does today mean to you?”
Parade goer: “Oh, it’s an historic moment. It means a lot.”
Parade goer: “Today means being like as one and celebrating his birthday.”
Hernandez: “What about you?”
Parade goer: “It means freedom and treating everybody equal.”
Hernandez: “You think that’s happened?”
Parade goer: “Yeah.”
Organizers dubbed the downtown parade “welcoming the spirit of Dr. King.”
Besides the marching bands and floats, some participants took part to remind the crowd of current social issues like gender equality, unemployment and mass incarceration. But the original significance of the day was not lost.
Woman: “It means a whole lot, a person that made a difference and hopefully, somebody else is making a difference that can follow behind MLK, Martin Luther King.”
Hernandez: “How about you?”
Parade goer: “I think that Martin Luther King changed the world cause if it wasn’t for him, we’d probably be working in the fields right now.”
Many parents told me they wanted to bring their children to remind them that civil rights will always be better because of King.