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Southport pays tribute to King

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SOUTHPORT -- The community of Southport paid tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s contributions this weekend by re-living the past. Residents took to the streets for a march, in memory of the esteemed reverend. During the civil rights movement rallies and marches were used as an effort to express the need for equal rights in America. Those footsteps helped pave the way for the civil rights movement. Sunday, community members from all walks of life joined hands and sang songs to honor the life and legacy of King. Committee member Rhonda Davis said, "It gives me a great sense of appreciation to know that he gave his life, and to know that I can today still carry on the things that he wanted us to do, and he saw in his vision." Committee member Rob Schutt said, "Walking today with our fellow citizens, both black and white, it's very meaningful because you start to get some sense of these people walking and what they walked for, and how hard it was to overcome some of the things they had to face." Organizers encouraged people both young and old to march, hoping to inspire them in keeping doctor king's dream alive. Committee member Ralph Parker said, "I think of it is as providing a learning experience for them, for those who are not aware of the contributions that Dr. King made, to make them aware, and for those who are aware, to uplift that level of awareness." March attendee Tanica Stanley said, "It was important for me to come out today because I do believe in Dr. King's dream, and living today we have to remember what that dream was about and I think it's important that we instill those things in our children." Parker says he can still remember watching Dr. King as a boy. He says marching is his way of showing the need for equality even in the year 2008. Parker said, "We have seen a lot of positive changes take place, but it's still not an utopian society yet." Yesterday's march in Southport was the kick off for a two day celebration. They're holding a youth program and an annual breakfast this morning at the Baptist Assembly Conference Center.

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