Widow’s Son Lodge No. 7, along with the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, participated in the 39th MLK Day Parade on Monday, January 20, 2020. The starting point will be Anacostia Park and the ending point is St. Elizabeth campus.
The D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade was conceived in 1977 by the late Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, founder of The Washington Informer and co-founder of the United Black Fund, along with his wife, the late Ward 8 Councilmember Wilhelmina J. Rolark, Esq., and the late Ralph “Petey” Greene, a community activist and radio personality. Thanks to these three renowned civic leaders, the District of Columbia was one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to hold a parade honoring Dr. King following his untimely death on April 4, 1968. It helped in the effort to establish a national holiday in Dr. King’s honor and today it reinforces the work being done by government agencies, community non-profit organizations and private citizens to promote peace and non-violence locally and around the world.
The parade began in 1979, six years before Kings’s birthday became a federal holiday. Across the nation and the world, Dr. King’s life and legacy is commemorated by a day of service and promoted as “A Day On and Not a Day Off”. The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade symbolizes the need to continue Dr. King’s work and reinforces the idea reflected in his words, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Those who believe in Dr. King’s message are considered members of the Coalition for Peace and are invited to join the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Parade every year.