Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta were celebrated by young and old alike during the 2016 MLK Peace Walk & Parade. (Shantella Y. Sherman/The Washington Informer)
Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta were celebrated by young and old alike during the 2016 MLK Peace Walk & Parade. (Shantella Y. Sherman/The Washington Informer)

The D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade was conceived in 1977 by the late Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, founder of The Washington Informer and co-founder of the United Black Fund, along with his wife, the late Ward 8 Council member Wilhelmina J. Rolark, Esq., and the late Ralph “Petey” Greene, a community activist and radio personality. The parade began in 1979 — six years before Dr. King’s birthday became a federal holiday. The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade symbolizes the need to continue Dr. King’s work and reinforces the idea reflected in his words, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable … every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Here are a few scenes from previous Martin Luther King Peace Walk & Parade events (click image below to begin slideshow):

Participants from various social and community organizations near and far made the trek through Anacostia/Congress Heights in frigid temperatures. (Shantella Y. Sherman/The Washington Informer)

Dr. Shantella Y. Sherman

Dr. Shantella Sherman is a historian and journalist who serves as the Informer's Special Editions Editor. Dr. Sherman is the author of In Search of Purity: Eugenics & Racial Uplift Among New Negroes...

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