LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Perhaps no celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been more important than those that will take place around the country on Monday.
"We thought about canceling, but it was way, way, way too important," said Jay Alexander, a member of the city's MLK committee, which is organizing Monday's march in downtown Lexington.
Alexander, who also works at a local radio station in Lexington, said this year's march is essential because of the progress made within the Black Lives Matter movement. This year's march follows the deaths last year of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis, who were killed during altercations with law enforcement.
"I like to look at it like an elephant. You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time," Alexander said.
"Change happens slowly," said Lexington NAACP Vice President Whit Whitaker. "But change doesn't happen if the effort isn't made," he added.
Whitaker then eluded to, perhaps, the most significant piece of change we've seen since the BLM movement moved to the forefront of our lives.
"It's kind of created more of an awakening. And I think we can thank the younger generation for that," Whitaker said.
Alexander said some of the changes that have been made since the "Call to Action" list of demands was brought to the attention of Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton are certainly a good start. Renaming Cheapside Park and requiring body cams to be worn by all Lexington police officers are just two parts of the plan.
"But there's more to do. We all have a lot more to do," Alexander said before praising Mayor Gorton for tackling this issue head-on and enacting meaningful and swift change.
"She has taken the bull by the horns," Whitaker added of the Mayor's effort.
Monday's march will begin at 10 am near the Central Bank location on Main Street.
"Please wear a mask, and stay ix feet apart. No hugging or handshaking as we normally like to do," Alexander begged of participants.
"It (the MLK day march) reminds us of where we were, what we're fighting for, and how we got here. But it reminds us we still have a long way to go," Whitaker said.