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MLK March: Still fighting for King's vision

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 21:03:41-05

A day long celebration to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Hundreds of Tucsonans marched 3 miles to Reid Park to honor Dr. King taking the opportunity to reflect on his message and rejuvinate.

The day began early as hundreds gathered to celebrate a new city street named after the civil rights leader. The Nobel Way street sign at the U-A Tech Park at the Bridges has changed o M-L King Junior Way.  Tucson now joining most U-S cities with a street name for King.

That even led to annual MLK March. Pastor Warren Anderson remembers when Dr. King brought his non-violent crusade to Chicago in '65. "Being a young man, the feeling was we needed to be more aggressive -- we needed to take more to the streets," he said.

Change, he says, didn't come fast enough -- and for Anderson -- that holds true today. "We're still dealing with institutional racism and as long as those things are in place, mindsets -- attitudes, nothing has really changed," he said. 

Dr. King preached non-violent means for achieving racial equality and change in attitudes, he knew, takes time. Stephanie Jones believes King's messages and marches were just a start. "People get left behind and people forget about other people, but we all have to come together," she said. 
When asked what has changed, Jones answered, "Well, hey, integration, we can live where we want. We can go to school where we want," she said.
And marchers say our nation's leaders have to continue fighting for King's vision. Congresswoman Martha McSally, who joined in the march, said, "That it's still our responsibility on a day like today to reflect on his legacy and his leadership and message and to look inside our own heart." 

Perhaps difficult for some, marchers say, in a state that is the last to recognize the Martin Luther King Junior holiday.

"As much as we get done, there's still injustices everywhere. When you look at the look at the relationship between our police community and we love our police community, there still needs to be work done there," said Iris Berry.