ABOVE: Sylvester Brown, Executive Director of the Black Heritage Society, receives proclamation
The Black Heritage Society and the City of Houston hosted a “Parade of Giving” as a means to honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and call for a day of service.
As the “Virtual 43rd Annual “Original” Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade” took place online, a drive-thru donation drop-off site was staged at MacGregor Park to support Houstonians who’ve been significantly affected by the pandemic and need basic life essentials.
More than 200 cars and motorcycles participated completing the fulfillment of a 12 ft. box truck. Items that were donated include blankets, water, baby diapers, baby wipes and more. Two local nonprofits, the World Youth Foundation and St. John’s Downtown, were the beneficiary organizations and will distribute the donated items to individuals with the greatest needs.
In recognition of their extraordinary leadership in these uncertain times, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo served as this year’s Grand Marshals.
The historic parade was the very first MLK Day Parade held in the nation after being sanctioned by the King family in 1978 here in Houston. In 2018, Mayor Turner announced that the City of Houston would provide primary support for the nationally-recognized celebration through a collective partnership with the Black Heritage Society, a non-profit organization founded by longtime community advocate Mr. Ovide Duncantell.
The 2021 theme was “Truth, Love and Justice,” a nod to the history of the organization and the country’s current reckoning with race and systemic oppression. For more information about the Black Heritage Society, visit https://originalmlkparade.org.