Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 21, 2013

Celebrating a legacy

Parade held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kazandra Gutierrez
The Athens Review

Athens — It has been more than 45 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC.

After so many years,his legacy could have been dimmed, if not forgotten by some people. But, that was not the case for the people in Athens this weekend.

“He was the one who wasn't afraid to speak out, and do something about the injustice going on in America, and chose to represent us, no matter what the cost,” said Sadie Martin a senior at Athens High school. “I respect him for that, and am so grateful.”

King’s legacy was more alive than ever when the community gathered to see a parade named, “Dare to Share in the Dream,” in his honor Saturday.

The parade is one of many events that the Henderson County Black Rodeo Association has been organizing, a move leading up to their 2nd Annual Juneteenth Rodeo to be held in June.

“The association was formed in hopes of bringing unity in the community,” said Nikki Enoch, HCBRA treasurer. “The word ‘Black’ only signifies the history of the Black cowboy, but certainly does not indicate discrimination  against others.”

The event brought happiness that could be felt from start to end, from not only the people involved, but from the people who came out to enjoy the parade.

The celebration for King didn’t stop there. Following the parade, a block party was held at the Fisher High Alumni Building,

The block party was an afternoon for the family that included plenty of food, and a bouncy house for the kids, as well as many fun games and prizes.

But the most inspirational and best moment of the afternoon had to be when 16-year-old Gabriel Haddock recited the entire “I have a Dream” speech.

Dressed in a black-and-white suit, like King was wearing when he made his famous speech many years ago, Haddock inspired the crowd, that appeared similar to the crowd in 1963.

Words of praise are only said when talking about King.

“Without him, we would still be just a color, and not human,” said Shayla Sanders, a junior at AHS.

Jailyeen Caddell, who was part of AHS 2012 graduating class, believes that had it not been for King, then there would still be slaves, and fewer, if any,  civil rights activists who fought for everyone's rights and freedom. She believes our world would still be corrupted with hate, confusion and silly regulations.

“During this Martin Luther King holiday, we need to show our respect, because had it been without him and other activists, we wouldn't have the opportunities we have today,” said Caddell.