Southeast Ohio city ‘marches on’ with MLK Day tradition

Local News

PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK) – Every year, people of all races, ethnicity, and different cultural backgrounds come together to remember the work of a man who helped put an end to segregation, Reverend and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many of the national holiday festivities have been canceled. However, residents in Portsmouth, Ohio found a way to celebrate the holiday and remember what Dr. King stood for.

Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship committee member Gerald Cadogan says with current issues going on in the country events like this are key in moving forward.

We’re trying to link sort of past events to current events. We’re trying to still honor Dr. King, but just do it in a safe way.

Gerald Cadogan, Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship committee member

And one of the ways they continued to honor him was with their annual march down 14th Street. Sunday afternoon, community members hit the streets, not in protest, but in remembrance of Dr. King and his dream for all people to be equal.

The marchers started at the 14th Street Community Center and marched all the way up to the newly installed “Martin Luther King Jr. Way” street sign.

The city of Portsmouth put in the street sign as another way to honor Doctor King and help future generations remember the legacy he left behind.

Community members like Jeanette Langford say as a state and as a country we have come a long way since Doctor King first gave his memorable speech in the 1960’s. She also noted that racism is still alive and well in the world today.

Racism doesn’t just necessarily mean that it’s whites that hate blacks, there’s also racism in the opposite direction.

Jeanette Langford, 14th Street Community Center member

Many are not just remembering the events that happened so many years ago, but also the man whose inspiration is helping to shape a world where all people are seen as equals.

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