NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — One of the oldest marches in the country, now in its third decade, walked through Nashville on Monday, Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“We’re going to remember the work that Dr. King did,” said Rep. Harold Love Jr., state representative for District 58. “We’re not just going to celebrate his life, then go back to everyday living.”
The day was led by Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship.
The morning kicked off at 8 a.m. with a youth rally at the Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, where local leaders, state officials, and young speakers from the community shared messages, poems, and performances.
The MLK Day March started at 9 a.m. on Jefferson Street and traveled to Tennessee State University’s Gentry Center. Residents, the NAACP, faith groups, sororities, fraternities, college athletic teams and more all marched side by side.
“It’s just really inspiring to talk about things on which we can be working as a community, to improve the lives of every Tennesee family,” said Rep. John Ray Clemmons, state representative for District 55.
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, a professor, writer, and preacher, was the convocation’s keynote speaker discussing 2023’s theme: “Protecting the Dream: Confronting the Assaults.” The theme was chosen by a committee of over 45 people.
“We’re going to try and push forward with everything [Dr. King] tried to do,” Love said. “Talking about fair wages, talking about good education, talking about healthcare for people – those things we must lift up every day.”
Throughout the day, speakers shared messages of Nashville’s progress, but noted there is still work to be done.
Dr. King came to Nashville on several occasions and said in a quote, “I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in the community.”