Still Marching for Freedom

2012 MLK Day Parade in San AntonioOver 100,000 people peacefully marched through the East Side of San Antonio yesterday. This is not uncommon. We really like this march, and for the past 25 years, rain or shine, our Texas burb turns out for MLK day. Here are a few reasons why we are probably in the top ten list for bringing out the crowds every year:

  1. Dr. King’s messages resonate with our working class, majority-minority communities. Aside from the 80,000+ census count of African Americans, we are a city of blends and spices.
  2. The commemoration gets substantial city support.
  3. We love parades, health walks, and marches. Aside from NY & DC, I’d be surprised if there are any other metro areas with more people pounding pavement. Hell, each spring we host an 11-day Fiesta with over 100 events, 4+ parades, and yes, we have a commission for that, too. I must admit, sometimes we go a little overboard, and as you may recall I can get rather snarky about how seriously we take our parades in a 2009 Like the Dew article.
  4. We’re mostly democrats, (just like our neighbors along the Mexico border and Austin, our capitol of sin) although all them Yankees moving down here have helped turned our Northside red. Aside from DC and Chicago, who else has a Sam Gompers statue?

For a heartwarming collage of San Antonio 2011 highlights, check out a local photographer’s view by Bob Owen.

Sure, I’m proud of our city. I’m proud that we have something so meaningful to get us out of our houses and into the street. Seems like that’s a fitting tribute to a great man of change, and something we could practice more than once a year these days.

Photo by Joe Ruiz from NOWCastSA's flickr photostream posted with Creative Commons license.
Suz Korbel

Susan Korbel

Graduating in '71 from Cornell gave me a few unencumbered years of protesting, followed by 4 happy hipster grad student/worker years at U of Michigan, completing a Ph.D. in public administration. Followed a comedian to San Francisco, then my heart to Austin Texas to learn the TV business, dabbled in hot&heavy politics in DC, and returned to Austin & San Antonio, Texas to hone my political/media skills. I make my money conducting consumer and political opinion studies.