SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Due to COVID-19 restrictions, organizations around Sacramento modified the way they honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On every third Monday in January, thousands of people are usually marching through the streets of Sacramento. This year, things were different.
While some organizations held virtual events, others found creative ways for people to gather safely.
“The community wanted something tangible that they can participate in, something that their families and children can do and be safe,” Betty Williams, president of NAACP Sacramento Branch, said.
The NAACP joined the Sacramento Chapter of Black Lives Matter to take to the streets in their cars.
“We do want to be in community together. It’s been a really rough 2020. We haven’t been able to be with people, and that’s tough on everybody,” Black Lives Matter Sacramento Chapter Founder Tanya Faison explained.
More than 300 cars gathered for the sixth annual Reclaim MLK Day.
The caravan began at Grant Union High School and continued to Sacramento State University while making stops to add more cars along the way.
Williams said this year it was important to get out and honor the late civil rights leader as she said we are still struggling with the same problems that King saw then today.
“Social economics, homelessness, education all of those things still exist,” she explained.
Usually, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone is chanting and singing as they march through the streets.
For the car caravan, organizers were able to work with a local radio station to make sure everyone could stay together by turning to the radio.
Faison said they wanted the entire city to see what they were honoring, the same way she believes King would have more than five decades ago.
“He did get arrested 31 times. He did march in the street. He did a lot of things because he was trying to push the line, and he was fighting for us.” Faison said. “So, in honor of him, we need to keep that fight going until we see the changes he would have wanted to see.”
And with Inauguration Day two days away, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris set to make history, Williams believes that change could come.
“She has the power to break some major ties that will create change for America,” Williams said. “That’s a lot of power for a Black woman, so that’s a celebration within itself.”