MLK Day Parade: Strength to Love
Episcopalians along with a group of ecumenically and racially diverse Christians marched in the MLK Day Parade in Dallas to a well-known Martin Luther King theme, “Do You Have the Strength to Love?”
This group of Christians included Bishop George Sumner, his wife Stephanie, Mark Hall, Deacon for Outreach and Social Justice, the Rev. Matthew Burdette, parishioners from St. Matthew’s Cathedral and members of other churches in Dallas who are affiliated with a movement to reconcile Dallas to peace and unity. The parade float carried images and words from King including, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
The annual parade created a high-profile venue for such a message with approximately 250,000 participants and spectators. Nationally, it’s considered one of the largest commemorative events held in the United States. The parade began at the intersection of Holmes Street and MLK Boulevard and proceeded down MLK Boulevard and ended at the State Fair grounds.
Along the parade route people were lined up to watch the marching bands, drill teams, car clubs and other participants who were braving the cold temperatures to walk in the parade. The forty members of the Reconcile Dallas crew each carried a sign with an important message illustrating King’s philosophy such as, “Choose Love Over Fear,” “Reject Hate Choose Love,” “Love Listen Discern Respond,” “Be United as Brothers and Sisters,” “Be the Change You Want to See,” and “Proclaim the Truth by Our Life and Example.”
The crowds responded favorably to the message, yelling “yes,” “amen,” and “thank you.”