• Date/time: January 1st, 12:00am

Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy and the call for a day of service, the Black Heritage Society and the City of Houston are hosting a “Parade of Giving” on Monday, January 18, 2021 from 10 a.m. to noon. As the “Virtual 43rd Annual “Original” Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade” takes place online, a drive-thru donation drop-off site will be staged at MacGregor Park located at 5225 Calhoun Rd. to support Houstonians who’ve been significantly affected by the pandemic and need basic life essentials. The public is encouraged to donate blankets, water, baby diapers, baby wipes and more. Two local nonprofits, the World Youth Foundation and St. John’s Downtown, are the beneficiary organizations and will distribute the donated items to individuals with the greatest needs.   

Groups and individuals can sign up to drive-thru and donate items by clicking here. 

While the “Parade of Giving” takes place offline, the online celebration will showcase a variety of local entertainment such as the University of Houston marching band, the Houston Symphony Community-Embedded Musicians, Booker T. Washington High School dance, band, cheer and much more. The virtual experience will also include footage from the very first parade in 1978, and other historical footage from over the years.   

In recognition of their extraordinary leadership in these uncertain times, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will serve as this year’s Grand Marshals.  

The historic parade was the very first MLK Day Parade held in the nation after being sanctioned by the King family in 1978 here in Houston. In 2018, Mayor Turner announced that the City of Houston would provide primary support for the nationally-recognized celebration through a collective partnership with the Black Heritage Society, a non-profit organization founded by longtime community advocate Mr. Ovide Duncantell. 

We need to get through these times and come together as a community to support one another first,” said Sylvester Brown, Executive Director of the Black Heritage Society. “Only then can we move to the work of building a more equitable world.”  

The 2021 theme is “Truth, Love and Justice,” a nod to the history of the organization and the country’s current reckoning with race and systemic oppression. Radio One will return again as the official media sponsor. The virtual experience and parade of giving can be viewed on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. online at htvhouston.net and on Facebook on the Original MLK Day Parade page 

It can be viewed on local TV at Comcast (Ch. 16), Phonoscope (Ch. 73 &  99), Suddenlink (Ch. 14), AT&T U-verse (Ch. 99). For more information, please call 713-236-1700 or visit the official website at https://originalmlkparade.org. 

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