Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade set for Monday

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019


NATCHEZ — Brotherhood and Love for All Humanity is this year’s theme for the Natchez branch of the NAACP’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day Parade that will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 21, organizers said.

Paul Bacon, president of the local NAACP, said he came up with this year’s theme after watching the news.

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“I had been thinking about where we are as a state and country and the migrants coming up from South America and how they have been treated,” Bacon said of the inspiration for the theme.

Bacon said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader, was in favor of justice for all people.

“Dr. King was a forerunner for justice,” Bacon said, “not just for the African-American community but for all people in America, regardless of the color or creed of their life or religious background.”

The parade, organizers said, honors the sacrifices King made to help end racial segregation and laws that denied blacks the right to vote.

This year’s parade grand marshal is Jessie Winston, Natchez’s oldest resident who just celebrated his 108th birthday on Christmas and who is a barber, Bacon said.

A few changes also are in store for this year’s event, organizers said.

This year, the organizing committee will not host a banquet the Sunday night before the parade as they have in the past, said Shirley Frazier local NAACP secretary.

Frazier said the banquet had been a fundraiser to help pay for the parade, so to offset the loss of money generated from the banquet, a $20 registration fee will be charged for participating in this year’s parade.

Also, the parade will start approximately 30 minutes later than it has in recent years, Frazier said.

Bacon said the parade line up would start at 2 p.m. Jan. 21 on Broadway Street at the post office and back up toward Madison Street. The parade will start at 3 p.m. and travel on Franklin Street, then north on Martin Luther King Jr. Street to Minor and Spring streets where it will end.

Bacon said the parade is open to all individuals and organizations that would like to participate.

“We just ask them to be orderly and have some candy to throw out to the parade watchers,” Bacon said. “Come out and show the community some love by celebrating with us the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

For more information, call 601-807-1751.