STAMFORD, Conn. — Hundreds of people marched through Stamford’s streets Monday to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and to celebrate the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.
“I couldn’t have scripted a better day for Martin Luther King,” said Jack Bryant, president of Stamford’s chapter of the National Alliance for the Advancement of Colored People. He added that he was proud of the legacy King left and the one Obama will leave.
Learning about King's work in the 1960s helped him in his position with the NAACP, Bryant said. “That stuff is still going on today,” he said of the civil rights work, adding that it is now on a more sophisticated level.
Obama is continuing King’s legacy and will help get justice for all people in the next four years, said E. Phillip McKain, president of CTE Inc. The only way Obama can accomplish that is for people of all religions and races to come together as King had preached, McKain said.
“President Barack Obama is going to need that collaboration to continue,” McKain said, adding that the president must overcome organized opposition in his efforts.
While Obama is helping people at the national level, Stamford’s Mala Desai, 10, is following in King’s footsteps at the local level. She has always admired the way King stood up for his beliefs and decided to do the same by standing up to bullies on her school bus to make the ride more enjoyable for her friends.
“I wanted everybody to know what I can do,” said the fifth-grader at Westover Magnet Elementary School, adding that she hopes to inspire others to try to make a difference, too.
In addition to McKain, the Rev. Dawn Snell of Friendship Baptist Church, Thomas Bradford of Superior Barbershop and Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau also served as the march’s grand marshals. They led the trek through the West Side and downtown, marching from the Bethel AME Church to the Yerwood Center.