Locals discuss Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy at annual festival

Local News

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Locals gathered at Sharon Sheffield Park in Lynn Haven for the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Junior festival. Some residents shared what Dr. King’s legacy meant to them.

“I believe that the focal point of his message is to teach everyone that we’re all the same human being and that we should love each other despite our color, creed, or belief,” said Alesia Rhodes.

“The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. means that I can do it too, that the color of my skin doesn’t determine what the outcome of my life can be. It also means that we should have unity in our community and that’s what he fought for. He fought for the disenfranchisement of every person, not just people of color but every citizen of the United States of America, he sacrificed his life,” explained Jesse Nelson, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church pastor.

“It’s not completely solved but it shines light on the issues especially back then when it was worse, now it’s a lot better. I feel like that has a lot to do with him and what he did for us,” noted Shamell Waddell.

“The unity of the community, teaching us how to peacefully protest as well as how to think outside of the box, how to show love to one another and be able to be on one accord,” emphasized Rhodes.

This year’s festival meant a little more to some as the event was cancelled last year due to Hurricane Michael.

“He left a great legacy and he was a great man. I’m just thankful that we did do this again this year,” said Waddell.

“One of the things that brought me out here today was because I wanted my children to be a part of the celebration of Martin Luther King Junior. Me growing up I always enjoyed not just having the day out of school but the day to commemorate his life and legacy. I wanted to pass the tradition on to my children as well, so they wouldn’t just think about we’re out of school we can sleep in late but we’re out here today to remember the life that he lived and the sacrifices that he made,” stated Nelson.

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