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Cities across Florida celebrate MLK Day with parades, events

(John Rous | AP)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 4:33 PM EST
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MIAMI (AP) — Parades and celebrations were held across Florida on Monday to honor the 93rd birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Many of last year’s celebrations were muted because of the coronavirus pandemic. But on Monday, cities and communities held celebrations honoring King, who was just 39 when he was assassinated in 1968 while helping sanitation workers strike for better pay and workplace safety in Memphis, Tennessee.

In South Florida, newly elected Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick attended a parade in Pompano Beach on Monday morning, and noted there is a long road ahead for equality.

“We see that the House just passed the Voting Rights bill last week, so that shows we’re still on our way and that fight for equality is still real for us,” she told NBC-6.

Cherfilus-McCormick was elected last week to fill the seat of late Democratic Florida U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, boosting the Democrats’ slim majority in the House. She is the Black daughter of Haitian immigrants.

In Miami, the parade — themed “Driving the Dream Forward” — drew a large crowd.

“It’s a big thing. Growing up in Liberty City, Florida, we did this a lot. And now, for it be up and running again, this is a great experience,” said Akin Liverpool, a sophomore at nearby Florida Memorial University, told WPLG.

Other parades were planned in Jacksonville, Ocala, Apopka on Monday, while other communities held prayer breakfasts and other forms of celebrations.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.