Hundreds of people marched through Downtown Fresno on Monday morning to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. CBS47 47 is a proud sponsor of the event, which is said to be one of the oldest celebrations west of the Mississippi.
One participant, Roger Cooley, grew up in the segregated South and remembers when times were different.
“It was really hard because we were always separate. I went to an all-black school,” said Cooley.
For her, the civil rights movement is unforgettable. But today, kids only read about it in books. Many marchers say events like this one are important teaching tools.
“We brought our grandbabies out to really let them know what this is all about; to start the next generation to keep Dr. King's dream alive,” said Celia White, a participant.
Marchers stopped at City Hall for prayer and words of hope. City council member Oliver Baines spoke about equality that hasn't yet been reached.
“There are places right here in the City of Fresno where we have a ‘tale of two cities,’” said Baines.
The march ended at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, where CBS47's Zara Arboleda led a commemoration program. Awards are presented to folks in the community; a community that's celebrated Dr. King's life and legacy for nearly 30 years.
The march happened at the same time as President Obama's inauguration; symbolism that wasn’t lost on those marching.
A garlanding ceremony is planned at Fresno State on Wednesday.