Residents of all ages and representing several groups commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a parade and memorial service in Sherman on Saturday.

Residents of all ages and representing several groups commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a parade and memorial service in Sherman on Saturday.


Leading off the parade was a group of participants on foot holding a banner featuring Martin Luther King Jr.’s profile and the words, "Live the Dream."


Behind them followed cars — vintage and new — church vans and motorcycles.


The parade is largely organized by the Neighborhood Recreation Committee. The Committee traditionally holds two events: a black expo in February and a Juneteenth celebration, said NRC member Demetria Jones.


"We couldn’t do any of this if (Martin Luther King Jr.) didn’t live the dream and have this dream for us," Jones said. "So we started incorporating a Martin Luther King parade."


The Martin Luther King, Jr. parade made its debut in Sherman last year. The NRC reached out to local groups to march in the parade. Participants this year included the Grayson County Chapter of the NAACP and Denison Youth in Action, and several area churches, like New Birth Cathedral of Praise and Mount Olive Baptist Church.


While remembering the past was a chief purpose of the parade, building a positive future was a goal as well. For example, a $5 fee for a spot in the parade went toward a NRC youth scholarship fund, Jones said.


Sherman resident Ronnie Boyd, who is active with the local chapters of the NAACP and Youth in Action, said he hopes the parade is inspiring to children.


"I think it’s good that we try to do something for the community and try to be positive, so that young kids can see our positivity and be positive also," Boyd said.


Boyd said he tries to instill in the youth respect, not only for well-recognized leaders like Dr. King, but also for lesser-known, local community leaders.


The parade culminated in a service at the King James United Methodist Church on East Street that featured music, poems and scripture readings. Bishop Charles H. Brown, 71, gave a speech in which he recalled growing up during the civil rights movement.


"The movies were separated, white and black. At restaurants you had to go around the back to get something to eat. And our schools, segregated. We thought that that was all there was to life," Brown said.


As a young adult, Brown heard of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., began following his activism and became inspired by it.


"I realized that this is a man who is marching for freedom," Brown said. "He (Martin Luther King Jr.) didn’t just free blacks, he freed everybody."