MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The second inauguration of the nation’s first African American president isn’t the only event being commemorated Monday. It’s also the day America honors the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and South Florida took time to remember and pay tribute to the civil rights leader with parades in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
In Liberty City, people from all over Miami-Dade took part in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, paying homage to the accomplishments that are his legacy and also recognizing that there is much to be accomplished as well.
Bands played, politicians waved, men in uniform paraded smartly as they community remembered the man who had a dream.
Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died trying to achieve his dream. Today, 50 years after King’s “I have a dream” speech, those honoring him acknowledged that dream has not yet come true.
Monday’s parade coursed through a largely poor community.
“There’s a lot of people left behind and a lot of people that simply need some urban renewal and economic development that really works,” said Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff to CBS4’s Gary Nelson.
Police officers who guarded the parade route reflected on accomplishments not yet reached.
“His biggest dream was a dream of equality and I think that we still got a long ways to go there whether it’s housing or just employment,” said Miami police Assistant Chief Roy Brown.
Black offenders today are 50 times more likely to be imprisoned than our white offenders.
“It saddens me to know there are more African Americans in prison than in college,” said Opa Locka Mayor Myra Taylor.
But there was optimism at the parade Monday as Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother rode in the parade. Her son, died arguably because of the way he looked, but his mom looked forward.
“There’s still hope. There’s still hope. We have to keep pushing forward that’s what’s important,” said Sybrina Fulton.
Where there is life there is hope. On this sunny day in January, the people marched to remember Martin Luther King Jr.
Monday’s parade did cause some road closures around the parade route along NW 54th Street. Streets will reopen to traffic around 5:00 p.m.
Broward residents also paused to remember the civil right leaders with a parade and festival in Hallandale Beach.
The parade marched along West Hallandale Beach Boulevard followed by a festival at O.B. Johnson Park, 900 NW 8th Avenue. The festival includes national recording artists, local musicians, local dancers, carnival rides, games and plenty of food. Among those scheduled to perform are: Cherrelle, Shonie, Zipporiah, Brandi of the R&B group Blaque, and C-Bone. Also, recording artists Que, TP9, Jada Blaza, Elhae, 2cute Ohginelle and Tjuan Karena Clarke, are scheduled. Last year, several thousand residents and visitors jammed O.B. Johnson Park for the event.