BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- One of the most polarizing figures of the civil rights movement Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. goes down in history as a leader who orchestrated many peaceful protest as well as the civil rights act of 1964.
On January 6th, protesters stormed the US CAPITOL. Some allegedly damaging government property while altercations flared with law enforcement.
“MLK is a very important figure to me. Personally I think he’s one of the greatest Americans to ever live. All his methods of protest and all of the change he’s made were exactly how it should be handled” said Tate O’Brien.
Like many parts of the country, Cleveland Tennessee celebrated Martin Luther King Day by marching the streets of their downtown area.
“It’s just super cool to see how many people ended up coming out to be a part of it and it’s really encouraging that it’s peaceful especially since the nature of a lot of these protest has been opposite” said one women marching with the crowd.
While Dr. King’s impact is undeniable, many believe there is more progress to be made.
“I’m out here because of what Martin Luther King has stood for all of my life” said Hobert Brandon. “I was born in 1960-and I’m also here for what’s going on right now in our country with the things that are happening at the Capitol building.”
President of the NAACP in Bradley County Lawrence Armstrong says unity events like this non existent in years past, “I’ve watched us acknowledge this day as a holiday, especially for our local school districts.”
The March is just the second annual event hosted by Cleveland State Community college.
Willie Thomas, an inclusion official from Cleveland State, says every generation should be educated on the history of MLK.
“There’s stories that the younger generations may not identify with or understand but having both stand here today I think it’s representation that while we have come a long way we still have a long way to go.”