East Texas celebrates life, legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – East Texans are celebrating the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a variety of community events.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday, is this Monday.

Schools and city, state, and federal offices will be closed.

The Longview community came together Saturday to mark King’s impact and message. Residents paraded through Longview streets in a show of unity, a tribute to the man who gave his life fighting for racial equality.

“It’s important to be a part of this because Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders in their day really paved their way for African American people,” said Longview resident Alanna Richardson. “So its important to us to continue to allow his dream to live.”

Longview hosts the parade every year.

Other events taking place include:

  • Jacksonville will observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday with a march that starts at 11:30 a.m. at Norman Activity Center and continues to Sweet Union Baptist Church. A special service will conclude the march. Participants are urged to line up by 11:15 a.m.
  • In Jefferson, the Marion County Diversified Civic & Social Concerns Organization will host the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade downtown. The parade will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and will end at the Jefferson Community Center.
  • The Harrison County NAACP Branch No. 6185 will kick-off its 36th annual MLK Celebration on Monday in Marshall, featuring a parade at noon, afternoon talent show and evening banquet.
  • In Tyler on Sunday afternoon, Tyler Together and Mike Guinn Entertainment will sponsor the second annual East Texas Martin Luther King Jr. Spoken Word Slam and Open Mic Competition from 5-7 p.m. at The Foundry Coffee House downtown. There will be cash prizes for the best poetry performance. Admission and parking are both free.
  • Also in Tyler, the Tyler Together Race Relations Forum will present the 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Interfaith Community Program Monday with the theme, “Only in the Darkness Can You See the Stars.” The event begins at 9 a.m. on the downtown square with a short program. The parade and march will start at 9:30 a.m. to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, where the main program will begin at 10 a.m.

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