The 22nd Annual NAACP DeKalb Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade kicked off on a chilly Monday morning as hundreds of people lined the streets to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The parade was led by CEO of DeKalb County Michael Thurmond, Grand Marshal for this year’s event. Politicians, high school bands, fraternities, sororities and organizations all gathered at Chapel Hill Middle School in Decatur to embark on a more than two mile walk to Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia. This year’s theme for this event was Stop, Drop, and Impact. Seven Bands and over 75 organizations participated in this annual event.
At the beginning of the parade, there was a short program in front of Cedar Hill Middle School with speakers such as DeKalb county schools’ superintendent Dr. Devon Horton Mayor Jazzmin Cobble of Stonecrest, and DeKalb county NAACP president Mrs. Edwina Clanton. Participants made signs to honor Dr. King and signs that represented their organizations. Some groups made the parade feel like Madi Gras as they threw candy and beads to the crowd. People cheered as they lined the streets along the parade route headed to Martin Luther High school in Lithonia, GA. Ms. Vivian Thomas, Georgia NAACP Political Chair said, “It was a very exciting time. I think that the parade gets better each year.” Another onlooker said their favorite part was watching the bands. They say it reminded them of their “high school days.”
Not only did this parade allow the community to stop and commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King, but it also dropped information like elections. The parade made voters aware of candidates in local and state elections such as a state court judge. It was an eventful day that had a great impact on everyone that experienced it.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you
do you have to keep moving forward.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr