Texoma residents braved cold weather and harsh winds Saturday morning to honor one of America's most recognized civil rights leaders.
The Sherman Neighborhood Recreation Committee and other community partners honored the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. with its 15th annual MLK Parade. The annual parade went on as scheduled, with dozens of marchers and riders, despite temperatures dipping into the low 30s and a wind chill in the teens.
“I think that if Martin Luther King can march while being spit on, hit and abused, we can take a little of the cold,” Parade organizer Eric Ross said Friday, confirming that the parade would take place.
King rose to acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s following a series of protests and civil rights marches, including the famous marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and the “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.
The parade took marchers from the 400 block of Travis across town to Austin College, where a ceremony was held in King's honor. A separate breakfast is scheduled for 7:15 a.m. Monday at Austin College in honor of King with assistant football coach Tre Stewart and AC student Erin Adams serving as speakers.
Ross said very few people cancelled from the parade following the forecast of cold weather and light snow Saturday. The group of about 70 who participated included members of the Sherman Rotary Club, Sherman High School Band and other community groups.
More than five decades after King's famous speech about equality among the different races in America, Ross said that the dream still lives on in the next generation. He went on to say that it is imperative for people to remember the sacrifices that were made by previous generations to make that dream a reality.
Among those who rode in Saturday's parade was Sherman City Council Member Daron Holland. With the cold temperatures, Holland said it served as a reminder of the conditions that many others marched in to ensure equal rights more than half a century ago.
“They (civil rights leaders) were in worse conditions,” Holland said. “They had not only the elements, but people fighting against them.”
Holland said the city of Sherman may soon honor the civil rights leader in a more permanent way. Holland said the city is currently in the process of renaming Brockett Street to honor Martin Luther King.