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M.L. King parade has grown

Picayune’s Martin Luther King Day parade has grown from what it was just a few years ago when the main floats were children pulled in wagons and riding tricycles.

The parade’s route also has gotten much longer, from City Hall to Rose of Sharon Church of God in Christ. However long the parade grows, it will never be as long as the march for freedom.

There have always been those who want to control everyone around them and gather all the wealth to themselves. Those who want to live in a society where everyone benefits and chooses their leaders have had to fight against the dictators, kings, slaveholders and others who want to keep certain rights for themselves and those like them.

This nation was founded on the principles that everyone has equal rights. Initially, that was everyone but slaves. The Civil War seemed to settle the slavery issue, but still there were those who wanted to keep the former slaves as second class citizens by segregating them from the rest of society and by denying them the right to vote through various stratagems including poll taxes and literacy tests. If that didn’t work, there was always fear.

More than 100 years had passed before the segregation and voting rights issues were settled, and then only through the dedication, leadership and sacrifices of men such as Martin Luther King, which is the reason his birthday was celebrated here in Picayune and around the nation.

Other issues have reared their ugly heads following desegregation and bringing about the right to vote for a race among which few had been able to vote, and include economic and educational opportunities — for all, including the dwindling middle class.

The route for freedom continues to stretch before us.