Nashville celebrates 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

MLK Day Nashville.jpeg
Posted at 4:58 PM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 20:16:46-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Monday was a day of celebration and reflection as the country honored the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

People honored the civil rights icon in many ways, but some said the holiday is more about living the reverend's dream every day.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, people in Nashville not only marched to remember the civil rights legend but also to take a stand on issues they believe King would have stood for today.

"This is a beautiful thing; I see a mixed crowd of people, and that’s what Dr. King was preaching about," said Memphis Swinney, who walked in the march.

Nashville was no stranger to Dr. King.

He made several visits, and it's here in Music City he was quoted saying, "I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in the community..."

Nashville was a city that helped change civil rights.

"Martin Luther King Jr. was a dreamer, but he dreamed out loud and he dreamed awake," said Michael Eric Dyson, a professor, writer, preacher and lecturer.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Nashville was hosted by the interdenominational Ministers Fellowship, celebrating its 35th year.

This celebration started with a march down historic Jefferson Street and ended with the annual convocation at Tennessee State University.

Speakers included politicians, educators, and students. Dyson was this year's keynote speaker.

"Dr. King stood up for those who didn’t have a voice for themselves, and in that last speech, he said, 'America, all I ask: be true to what you said on paper. If you said it, do it. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,'" said Dyson.

Dyson said it's important that people don't sleep during the movement. In short: stay woke.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration in Nashville started in 1988, just five years after President Ronald Reagan made it a federal holiday.

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