Black Heritage Society parade chosen as official for City of Houston

- Mayor Sylvester Turner announced at Houston City Hall that the Black Heritage Society annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade will be supported as the official City of Houston parade starting in January 2019.

Anyone interested as in joining the parade as a participant, sponsor or vendor can visit www.blackheritagesociety.org.

Mayor Turner added that U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis are supporting the decision.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand and it’s certainly not a reflection of Dr. King’s legacy and that is why today, after a lot of deliberation, a lot of praying and a lot of thought, I can assure you, tossing and turning, I’m announcing the City of Houston will honor Dr. King’s legacy by supporting the Black Heritage Society,” says Mayor Turner.

The Black Heritage Society has organized an annual parade since 1978, but for the last 25 years, the MLK Grande Parade has also taken place, forcing supporters to choose between the two.

“You know a lot of people didn’t even come because there are two parades out of respect for King, then you have people that really didn’t know and are kind of confused and don’t wanna be running around but you know things are going to work out,” says Kenyha Shavazz, the chief of security for the Black Heritage Society.

“Let me tell you one of Dr. King’s quotes, ‘the time is always right to do what is right’ and the mayor did what was right today and we honor the Mayor we appreciate the mayor for that we look forward to an outstanding and hopefully one of the biggest celebrations in the country to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King,” says Sylvester Brown, Black Heritage Society head operations manager.

So we talk with folks around town and ask them are they a fan of the two events or would they rather just go to one.

“With there being one parade, it might just be too crowded like parades such as Pride and all are really disorganized and I would, really, maybe it would be better to just have two parades even though it might be more costly and might be a better experience for the people going,” says Relena Lai.

“I think it’s a good idea, I mean the idea that they want to just make it easier for people not to have to divide themselves against one," says Marcial Pimentel. "I think it will really bring the city together because we have a lot of things where it’s just all together and in the community.”

Organizers with the MLK Grande Parade released the following statement:

They have constructed a framework for the unification of the parades in Houston. 

The group also says its legal team is looking into the role that city government can play in the parade and the authenticity of the other parade's licensing agreement. The MLK Grande Parade will still take place in the Midtown district.

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