An annual parade in downtown Kingsport commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day drew a crowd of more than 150 people. Photo by David Grace.
KINGSPORT — An annual parade in downtown Kingsport commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day drew a diverse crowd of more than 150 people — many of whom were teenagers and young adults — who took the time on Monday to honor the life and dream of the slain civil rights leader.
“This is our annual time to really get to talk to people about who and what Dr. King stood for,” said Overseer Ronnie Collins, who helped organize the parade. “We believe there has been a lot of change over the past 50 years and the dream itself has come to pass in some aspects, but we have not arrived yet. We think there is still work to be done and we want to do our part in this region.”
The Tennessee/Virginia Fellowship Against Racism and the East Tennessee Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship sponsor and organize the yearly parade on the national holiday honoring Dr. King. Other organizations participating included Joshua Generation International, the United Religions Initiative, Girls Inc., New Vision Youth and the HOPE (Help Our Potential Evolve) youth organization.
Monday’s parade drew one of the largest crowds in its 14-year history, a diverse crowd of African-Americans and Caucasians of all ages, many of the younger generation carrying signs with “Unity,” “Peace” and “Love”
Collins said there needs to be a push for people to love each other.
“It’s all about the love of Christ in 2014. Allow God to use you to help change society,” he said.For an expanded version of this article, please see Tuesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.