Martin Luther King Day parade set for Monday

Benna Sayyed

The Clovis Martin Luther King Jr. Commission annual Martin Luther King Day parade starts 9 a.m. Monday at Potter Park, emulating King’s civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama.

The first stop will be at Lincoln-Jackson Elementary, where the commission will stage a short program and offer refreshments. The next stop will be at Roy Walker Community Center. The next stop is Legacy Life Family Church where the commission will hold a rally. The speaker, David Lombrana, minister of Legacy Life Family Church, will deliver the message of MLK day: Equality for all people.

“One thing that kind of bothers me is that people portray a Martin Luther King celebration as an African American celebration. It was not about that. It’s about equality for everyone,” said Joyce Pollard, president of Clovis Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.

“The MLK celebration brings this city together. It’s a citywide effort. I just wish and pray that it could go on always.”

The celebration will conclude with the congregation singing “We Shall Overcome.”

The activities hold special significance for Pollard, who said she experienced racial discrimination first-hand growing up in Clovis. She was also involved in several sit-in protests at the former F. W. Woolworth store in Clovis an effort to desegregate Clovis restaurants in the 1960s. She hopes Monday’s MLK celebration will achieve a greater awareness for all citizens.

“When I first came to Clovis from Lubbock it was culture shock,” Pollard said. “In school, I would be the only black person or it would be my brother and I. There would never be over one or two black kids in the classroom. All of the teachers were white so we had nobody to really relate to at that time. When I left Lubbock my grades were like A’s and when I got here they began to fall down,” Pollard said.

“Growing up was difficult. When we went to the Lyceum Theater we had to sit in the back. That’s where all the black people had to sit.”