San Diego

36th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Day Parade Celebrated Differences

Communities across San Diego honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in its 36th annual parade along North Harbor Drive. 

The parade had floats, high school bands, drill teams, college students, church groups, San Diego police and other organizations. 

January 15th would have been Dr. King's 87th birthday, and 47 years after his death his message still resonates as much as it did a half century ago.

For James McBryde the parade offered a teachable moment for his son, Justice.

“Try to keep it pretty simple for him so he can understand, you know equality for everybody. Everybody treated the same,” McBryde explained.

When King visited San Diego many years ago he spoke to Willie Manley, a former minister who worked to build relationships with officers 40 years ago.

“He said to me that he would hope that I would also talk to my children about how important it was to be a part of a non-violent movement,” Manley said. “We've seen some change but not very much."

Some at the parade felt recent years have been tainted by the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of officers.

Paradegoer Roxanna Rodriguez explained these types of shootings have been going on for a long time.

“What's new is that it's being broadcast in the news,” she told NBC 7.

Willie Manley hopes King’s memory will continue to live on so we won’t repeat the past.

“It does give me hope, and I am so happy to see all the young people,” Manley said. “That's what matters – the young people and we must get involved with them."

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