Thousands Participate In Tulsa MLK Parade

Monday, January 19th 2009, 11:45 am
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Thousands of Tulsans packed downtown on Monday for the annual Martin Luther King Day parade.

The parade route went right through the historic Greenwood district in downtown Tulsa. There were almost 300 entries in this year's parade.

Watch the video as SKYNEWS 6 flew over the parade Monday morning.

Start the slideshow
News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims was there and represented The News On 6.  She took pictures during the parade. Check out her pictures in the slideshow to the right.

"America has made huge strides in breaking down the walls of racial tension and racial divide," said Twan Jones, Tulsa NAACP.

Many people The News On 6 spoke with say this year the celebration has extra significance, that they're living the dream Doctor King shared with the world half a century ago.

"He is smiling. He is smiling and he is saying ‘yes, we have overcome.' We have, we have overcome," said Katherine Redd, Tulsa resident.

Katherine Redd isn't the only one who feels that way.

New numbers show that two-thirds of blacks feel MLK's vision on race relations has been fulfilled.
That's double the percentage who agreed with that statement last March, eight months before Obama's election.

"It means things are changing, it's good to be good," said Shannon Hunt, a Tulsa mom.

But changing how? Ask Robert Carpenter who has lived in Tulsa for 78 years. He says racism still exists, but he's seeing more respect between the races, an improved dialogue. He credits President-elect Barack Obama.

"They'll look at him and me differently. Because Martin Luther King had said that, he said that about the dream, you know? The dream is here," said Robert Carpenter.

Kids listened as dozens of marching bands played. It's a familiar refrain heard around the country. Today they're saying, Yes We Can.

Related story: 1/18/2009  Tulsans Remember King With March