A diverse crowd numbering in the thousands marched from the St. James AME Church at 44 Hildebrand St. in Asheville to Pack Square Park to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy on Monday, Jan. 16. Many carried signs expressing love for King and his message of social justice.
Rev. Brent Edwards led the service at his church before marchers set off. Oralene Simmons, the founder of Asheville’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association, urged rally attendees to embrace unity and peaceful action.
Those who attended last year’s march remarked on the noticeably larger turnout this year. Escorted by the Asheville Police Department, the crowd of marchers held hands and sang as they walked along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and College Street.
The event speakers emphasized that racial discrimination is not yet eradicated. As a community, they said, we must come to together to end not only racial discrimination but inequities of all kinds.
All photos by Emma Grace Moon.