ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Community leaders, players from the Permian Panthers, and residents gathered at the Southside Senior Citizens Center to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Odessa.
At noon, the groups marched from Dixie Boulevard to Woodson Community Center on Murphy Street, which is where Black Cultural Council of Odessa Committee Member Alford Littleton provided insight into why today’s events mattered to the community.
“We all must change because we live in a world for everybody, not just for a few,” said Littleton.
“We need to start looking at the inside of people, not the color of their skin.”
Jennifer Alvarado explained why she brought her kids out to the march and what they could learn from participating.
“It’s just an overall really good experience and I’m glad that it’s still going on,” said Alvarado. “It’d be nice if more people turned out for it today just because it’s important to keep your kids informed of why things happened.”
Elsewhere in West Texas, Midland hosted a march from Pecan Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. In Big Spring, marchers had a celebration that started at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Highway 87.
More marches honoring MLK took place across the state.
In San Antonio, 300,000 people lined the streets for their annual MLK parade, one of the largest in the country. The streets were filled with banners and signs gathering in front of a mural for Dr. King.
In Houston, vehicles lined the streets in anticipation for their two celebrations, one downtown and one in Midtown, which has been a tradition for 25 years. Both parades had marching bands and parade floats.