Tampa residents reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of equality and the presidency

6:25 PM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Thousands turn out in Tampa to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. But this is more than a parade, it's a chance for parents to teach their kids about Dr. King and the lessons he taught them about love and equality.

Along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Tampa, a family -- four generations deep -- gathered together to watch the parade in honor of the civil rights leader.

"So we can keep the dream alive," said 59-year-old grandfather Eddie King. "It's about unity, togetherness, peace, freedom."

They celebrated Dr. King's birthday and the road he paved for all people regardless of their skin color.

However, Kemeel Henderson said he had a tough decision to make today -- either see President Barack Obama's inauguration celebration or bring his family to the parade.

"Unfortunately, there's not a big jumbotron out there where we can watch it and enjoy it," he said.

Johnnie Stenson, a 74-year-old grandmother, expressed her gratitude for having the chance to see President Obama lead our country as the first black president -- not just once, but twice.

"I believed one day we would have a black president because of Martin Luther King -- he brought it all about. It's a very special day for me because at least I am alive to see this day."

With both men -- one from history and another making history -- being celebrated today, Kemeel hopes they'll inspire his children to live out their dreams.

"To know whatever they set forth in life they can achieve and not be judged by the color of their skin but, as Dr. Martin Luther King said, by the content of their character."

Isabel Mascarenas

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