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Celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Fort Myers

MLK Day March

On a sunny morning in Fort Myers, hundreds joined in a march from the Dunbar Community school to Centennial Park in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. The small crowd sang, chanted and talked as they walked along the route.

For 10-year-old Jahleel, this day represents a man who helped change and shape the history of our country.

“He wanted equal rights for everybody. So that means if they can do it you can do it too. So, I wanted to come here to show my support for this day. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday," says Jahleel.

For others in attendance, it was all about unity and coming together.

“We want to keep Martin Luther King Jr.’s spirit alive. We don’t want his work go unnoticed. We want people who are haters in the world to know that hate is not the answer,” says Regina Killmartin.

Angela McClary says, “We need to come in together in unity and not be divided in that we need to give everybody equal opportunities regardless of where they’re from.”

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson shares how not only does the city need unity but the whole country.

“If you look around what you see is a mixture of people diversity. Hopefully what happens with diversity is it leads to more unity. Not just as a community on a local level but nationwide. We need more unity and less fracture,” says Anderson.

Martin Byrd is the President of the Dunbar Festival Committee and sees the importance of never forgetting what came before.

“This opportunity to kinda bring them back to what it meant to be in a commemorative protest march to bring that back to people and what we’ve been through and what we’ve overcome," says Byrd.

For the Young Ladies of Excellence from Gateway High School the purpose is simple.

“It’s black history, you know it’s our skin color, we’ve got to represent, we’ve got to represent."

One of the members of the group shares, “Martin Luther King, he is one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement but I think it’s up to us continue his legacy and not go backways and I think it is up to us to be the generation of change like many of the teenagers like in the 60’s and 50’s around the time of the civil rights movement,” says Zaria Brown.

A day to remember the man, the movement and the generation who stood up for the rights of future generations.