LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin residents gathered at Dunbar Primary Monday to honor King as well as two special Lufkin residents that were involved in the movement for racial equality.
It was a day set aside to remember King's dream, which he so eloquently talked about in his famous "I have a dream" speech during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. It was also a day set asides to honor the dreams of all those who fought for civil rights and equality.
Rev. Olu Brown, the pastor of Impact UMC in Atlanta, GA and a graduate of the Lufkin High School Class of 95, said the civil rights movement "was bigger than Dr. King. It was really a community of people not only in Atlanta but across the world for justice."
Atlanta will forever be linked to the King family.
"Last week, I met Dr. King's sister for the first time, and that is one of the blessings of being in Atlanta, of being a part and being able to touch the King family because the king family still keeps the dream alive," Brown said.
"As dreamers it is important for us to make sure that we continue on with the dream of Dr. King," said Lufkin City Councilman Victor Travis.
The day was capped off by honoring two men whose success embodies the message that King championed.
Retired educator and football standout Ralph Allen and three-time state championship coach Oscar Kennedy were inducted into the Dunbar Hall of Honor for work accomplished at Lufkin's only black high school.
It's something that means a lot for the people who followed in their footsteps.
"To know that because of the work that they did in Lufkin ISD, I now get to serve in the capacity that I do," said Dr. LaTonya Goffney, the Lufkin ISD superintendent.
African-American community leaders in Lufkin celebrated King's legacy but stressed there is still work to be done.
"The legacy that Dr. King left for us is a legacy and history that has to be re-won every year," said Keith Kennedy, Oscar Kennedy's son.
At the end of the event, there was also a special presentation to the family of community leader Linda Pendland. Pendland died last April and was a big part of the MLK Day festivities.