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Dothan hosts annual MLK Day Parade

MLK Day Parade Marshal Kris Doss says "It’s important that we understand that MLK was not only for the African Americans. He was also for all of human races, all nationalities. He was there for people.”
MLK Day Parade Marshal Kris Doss says "It’s important that we understand that MLK was not only for the African Americans. He was also for all of human races, all nationalities. He was there for people.”
IMALC President Jemmie Watford says freedom is still an illusion in America, because of the racial profiling, lack of job security and other  issues still faced by black communities.
IMALC President Jemmie Watford says freedom is still an illusion in America, because of the racial profiling, lack of job security and other issues still faced by black communities.
Parade participant Addie Johnson says while many people have the day off for Martin Luther King Day, everyone should be working to keep his dream alive.
Parade participant Addie Johnson says while many people have the day off for Martin Luther King Day, everyone should be working to keep his dream alive.

Cheers, marching and celebrating.  Those were the sights and sounds of the annual Martin Luther King parade held today in Dothan, commemorating the march for civil rights.

 

Parade Marshal Kris Doss says it's more than just a one-day celebration.

 

"Even though the movement did not die with Martin Luther King, it steady goes on, and we should take care of this event every day, every time we get an opportunity to show homage to the people that came before us," said Doss.

 

The parade kicked off at the Piggly Wiggly on Montgomery Highway, traveled down Reeves and ended at Greater Beulah Baptist Church on Headland. 

 

"It's important to commemorate this day because it's still a fight to break those old mentalities of separation and just superiority,” said Jemmie Watford, president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance Leadership Coalition (IMALC).   “There are things that we still need to work on,”

 

Dothan resident Addie Johnson remembers the day Dr. King was murdered.

 

"The day we got the news that Dr. Martin Luther King was shot dead, everybody just fell to pieces.  It was like the end of the world,” Johnson said.

 

And she also remembers what it was like growing up in the sixties.

 

"We had a restaurant in Ashford, and it was like, we blacks could eat there, but we had to go to the back door."

 

While Johnson says times have changed and doors have opened, there's still an uphill battle.

 

 "Like he said, he's been to the mountaintop; we're trying to get to the mountaintop.  It ain't over yet.  We still have a long way to go," said Johnson.

 

As Addie Johnson and others would say, the journey continues.

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