Residents Say MLK Holiday Has Special Meaning on Inauguration Day

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - For so many Americans, Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is more meaningful than ever before.  King's legacy played out on the national stage as President Barack Obama was sworn into his second term of office on Monday morning.

Hundreds of thousands of people watched his dream as President Obama was sworn in.

"For me personally as a woman of color, I am so very proud that America has the chance to experience this," Sue Roseberry said.

For Roseberry, the inauguration falling on MLK Day feels a bit more special.

"Dr. King's life and legacy and the to have an African-American president in the second term and it tells me that anything is possible," Roseberry said.

She along with dozens more celebrated the holiday at the center in Midland named after the civil rights leader. This year, the event was aimed at the younger generation.

"We want the children to get the message that unity and equality is a way of life and everyone is entitled to that," Lois Hillary said.

Shirley Taylor brought her grand kids. She said she remembers the civil rights era like it was yesterday.

"It was terrible when I was growing up," Taylor said. "We had to draw water from a well. Some had to drink from tanks, had to work in the field for $3 a day, all day long. We want them to learn about it."

"I don't know if the youth fully understands how big today's events are but it's our responsibility to tell them," Roseberry said.

Hillary, who is the president of the Midland Negro Business and Professional Womens' Club, said she never thought she'd see King's dream become a reality.

"Vice-President and President Obama, just in awe that they were standing there together," Hillary said. "We do have a long way to go but we are on our way and that's a blessing."

The president used one of King's old bibles to take the Oath of Office.

Although the women said the struggles for African-Americans aren't over yet, the country has come a long way and will continue through King's legacy.

"We all just wanna see our world united and living together in peace and enjoying the freedoms that we have," Roseberry said.