By Michael Eugene Johnson

Every year, Baltimoreans honor this monumental historical person by gathering at the boulevard that bears Dr. King’s name to march or to watch in a bright parade that warms the winter streets with celebration, but it’s more than a Parade it’s a coming together of Baltimore with children, generations, marching bands and organizations it’s about the cold and the smiles on the faces as  Baltimore don’t have a whole lot to smile about today.  It’s about the children and the uninformed who wondered who this great man was and why should we meet as a city in the coldest January mornings to honor him. The parade is remembering Baltimore’s sorry history of rights for people of color in Baltimore. The parade is not just a parade it’s a lesson about Baltimore moving forward after we could not shop in the stores downtown or laws that prevented us from attending Public Schools. Neighborhood in which we could not live. Positions in the fire department and in the police, department were not possible. 2023 we have come a long way.  Canceling the MLK parade canceled our celebrating progress. It’s never been just a parade it’s also a celebration of the history of the SCLC, NAACP, Thurgood Marshall, and Juanita Jackson Mitchell. Maybe it’s a small thing to some but to others in the city, it’s a huge reminder of Baltimore Historic’s role in this country’s civil rights.  Some saw this great man in the back of a convertible black Cadillac in Baltimore campaigning for John Kennedy who would become the nation’s 35th President.   

Martin Luther King Day parade is not just a parade it’s the celebration and the accomplishments of America’s most famous and effective leader in civil rights. Baltimore is a city we are a people that has always dedicated to promoting the African American community, Baltimore goes all out for the day in which the nation looks back and remembers the man that voiced his dream to a nation in need of vision. But not this year no parade no people celebrations together no us gathering with us in the cold to watch our city celebrate this man.  The less you do the less you celebrate the less his importance is told to our great city.  Shame on who made this decision Shame who supported this decision in BOCA and in the mayor’s office. Yea I’ll still celebrate with my grandsons Noah & Caleb, I’ll tell them both about this man who came to Baltimore often to put together his civil rights agenda and when they murdered him on April 4, 1968, in Baltimore the next eight days in it got real.  But this is a great opportunity for all Baltimoreans to unite, to show our disdain for the violence in our city that has become too commonplace.” Quoting Dr. King: “Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys the community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself.”  Baltimore Leadership you are missing an opportunity and you have embarrassed us again

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