Dozens of people gathered in Desert Hot Springs Monday afternoon to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Participants gathered at the Desert Hots Springs police station at 2 p.m. before marching down Pierson Blvd. over to First Community Baptist Church.
Parents, children, students, churchgoers and members of the community locked arms in unison as they remembered the late civil rights activist.
The leader has become an icon to so many, especially within the United States. MLK was a scholar, minister and one of the most recognized leaders of the 20th century. He played a pivotal role in ending legal segregation and the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"I recall all of the difficulties and the struggles and the pain and the hurt," Desert Hot Springs resident, Cheryl Beverly said.
Beverly is originally from Chicago.
"I’ve been in this march since the beginning. I’m one of those children of the 60’s, and I recall marching in different crusades really to get our civil rights," Beverly said.
Beverly says it was much harder back in the day, when people had to fight for their freedom.
"I had a chance, when Dr. King came to Chicago many years ago, to march with him in that particular march. We grew up in in the middle of it, witnessing it every single day," Beverly said.
She says the country has come a long way but still has much more room to grow.
Next month is black history month. The Coachella Valley is hosting a number of events. The Palm Springs Black History Committee will be hosting an 11th annual award gala. Tickets are still available for the event, scheduled January 25th. A black history parade is also scheduled for Saturday, February 29th in Palm Springs.