When 7-year-old Aiden Acddl of Augusta learned about the Martin Luther King Jr. parade from school, he asked his grandmother, Elizabeth Matos, to take him to the event.
“I love Martin Luther King,” he said. “He helped black people and white people be together, and he said speeches.”
Organizations from across the Augusta area participated in the parade including high school bands, 100 Black Men of Augusta, the Richmond County Marshal’s Office, political candidates and more. The parade drew hundreds of admirers of King, some of whom expressed thoughts on how he might feel about the nation’s current situation.
“I think he would be disappointed to see how far we’ve come and to see things just transitioning to back the way things were,” William Scott of Augusta said. “They worked so hard for our rights.”
The Rise Network and Paine College’s Department of Media Studies held its first Martin Luther King Community Recognition Day at the college campus as well Saturday. The project was a vision of Rise Network founder Rozalyn Shepard.
“We are honoring ordinary people doing truly extraordinary things,” she said. “Some people have been doing these things for years and you don’t know about it.”
Shepard said the event was related to King as much of his work was about improving the quality of work for all people. In addition to performances by local artists and the Academy of Richmond County marching band, the event recognized the extraordinary contributors with a letter from Mayor Hardie Davis Jr., according to Shepard.