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Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Honored With Parades, Unity March, Day Of Service

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On Monday, January 17th, we honor the memory of the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with celebrations, community outreach, and continued advocacy for justice.

"He sort of brought America into the 20th century and 21st century in terms of civil rights. He wanted better treatment for everyone including the African American population of the United States. Through his beliefs, he was able to bring change with legislation. He has made it a better place, but we still have long ways to go," said historian Paul George.

George said it is important to always remember what Dr. King Jr. stood for.

"We also need to see the fact that we are not really there yet, in terms of total equality among people. We still have discrimination problems and we need a better understanding of each other," said George

On Monday, there were events held across South Florida to honor King's legacy.

In Miami, a parade kicked off at 11 a.m. on NW 54th Street. It will feature high school marching bands, dance teams, and floats.

"It's beautiful because we get to share this among a lot [of people]," said Derrick Perry who got to the parade route early to find a spot so he could watch his daughter perform.

He said it was very important to him that the younger generations in his family understood the work that was done before them to make our country a better place. Especially by icons like Dr. King.

"He was one of the gifted ones that was able to speak out and share his vision that God had given him," said Perry.

The parade ended near Martin Luther King Jr. Park where a family friendly event will take place from noon to 5 p.m.

Miramar and Pompano Beach also held parades in King's honor. In Tamarac, residents held a Martin Luther King Jr. Day unity march.

It's been more than 50 years since Dr. King was assassinated but his dream lives on.

"It's not just about Martin Luther King, it's about everyone," said Perry.

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