My family and I had planned on attending King day events in Houston, so when the opportunity presented itself to attend as media I took the assignment. Not being a native Houstonian, I was a bit surprised to find out that there were two parades which I found to be interesting. Reading about the history was interesting and if the two parades are ever combined, which the mayor is suggesting. I would love to be a part of the planning committee. I was so excited to attend I made sure to leave even earlier than the suggested time via Google maps because I didn’t want my sense of direction to cause me to be late. Traffic was nice and finding parking so early meant that I had time to take a look around and get a feel for an area I’m not familiar with. I grabbed my folding chair and walked down a few streets taking pictures and video and recording a few of my thoughts. I arrived well before the suggested arrival time so I was able to watch as Majic 102.1 (shout out to the DJ on-site she was fun, informative as well as caring) and 97.1 The Box set up and started spinning the grooves for the people already there.
I set up shop a little further away than the media meeting area because I wanted to get a feel for what the attendees were thinking and experiencing. Laughing and talking with those around me and taking in the energy as more people arrived was exhilarating. It was brisk and cold but I sat on the shaded side of the street just the same because I wanted to be able to capture clear moments from the parade. This year’s grand marshal was Ms. Leela James and I love the power fist that she raised high and proud. Shout out to the boys holding the banner and walking in front of the car for doing their job and showing up so sharp for the parade.
The “Most Hype” award for parade participant hands down goes to Jolanda Jones. Her energy was contagious and her smile could be seen down the street. She made sure to speak and wave to as many attendees as she could and it was beautiful to see. The fact that she chose to walk the route and looked fit and fly while doing so was an added bonus.
The venerable Sheila Jackson-Lee looked regal in red as she passed out sweets and connected with the attendees.
Representative Al Green was so high energy and out connecting with the crowds that I couldn’t get a clear photo of him. Instead, I captured the banner and those who were there in support of both he and Dr. King.
Kim Ogg was in attendance and those with her made sure that the goodies flowed freely.
The contingent from HEB carried words that resonated with me. “We Believe.” It’s not a fantasy rooted in nothing but a proclamation of our determination to continue to build on the foundation laid by Dr. King and others like him. We believe that our work will bring about the change we want to see. They also brought a bit of whimsy with them with a giant grocery cart and waving grocery bag which I wasn’t able to capture because I was having a lively discussion about it with my grandchild.
So while I was undeniably cold, got a little lost walking (not an uncommon occurrence for me) I’m glad that I was able to participate in this Houston tradition. I’m glad that I was able to see the hope and continuation of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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