HOUSTON, Texas - On Martin Luther King Day, the people of Houston once again marched to honor his message and legacy. More than 50 years have passed since the Civil Rights Movement took on Washington, D.C., and Selma. But the memories of discrimination and oppression still linger.
"I remember the times when we had to sit in the back of the bus", said Sandra Renfro. "I remember the times when we could not go upstairs to the movies: we had to sit downstairs. Now that we're free… I'm just loving it, because I fought for a lot of this."
People from all walks of life came together outside of Minute Maid Park to celebrate what Americans have accomplished over the years, and to make sure the ideal of peace and justice lives on.
"This is all about hope and recognizing that we're all a part of the human race", expressed Mayor Sylvester Turner. "I grew up in a low income community, and now I'm the Mayor of the City of Houston, elected by the people. So, dreams can still come true."
However, the incidents of alleged racially motivated police brutality we've seen lately or disparities in access to education and economic opportunities tell us that there's still much to be done to fulfill Dr. King's dreams.
"I don't think it's racial tension", Charles Burleigh believes. "But it's a lot of things that happened that need to be addressed.
But hope is alive and kicking.
"I didn't mind marching", said Renfro. "And I didn't mind yelling out free at last, free at last… Thank God almighty, we're free at last."
Those are good reasons to keep marching on.