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The black community is outraged by the action of a 19-year-old male who opened fire, striking one victim, during the 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. parade in Jackson, MS. The unnamed gunman was apprehended by Jackson Police and charged with aggravated assault. The victim was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest. The condition of his health has not been released.
The parade, created by Kenneth and Larita Stokes, has been featured in Ebony and is revered as one of the top parades in the nation. “I believe Mississippi was close to Dr. King’s heart,” Larita told a local newspaper. “When he was at the March on Washington, he mentioned Mississippi several times. I believe he cared about Mississippi. And we love him still today.” A plethora of the city’s “who’s who” attend the parade. Last year, Jackson State President Dr. Carolyn Meyers was in attendance as the Grand Marshal and newly elected Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis was in attendance, along with a team of deputies on horseback. “This is a very special parade, very special to me today because these are my people. They helped me get elected. For the cause of the parade, it’s very important to me,” Lewis told a local newspaper.
African-American sorority and fraternities, children’s drill teams, cheerleaders, bands, etc. all participate in the parade annually.