BOZEMAN, Mont. - On Sunday, the community rallied at the Emerson Cultural Center to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and spread the same messages he fought for decades ago- equality and freedom.
Chicks with Sticks, a local drumming group, led the March of Solidarity, while the community waved signs promoting diversity and peace.
The large group marched down Wilson and Main with their signs and drums, and received yells and honks of support.
The March of Solidarity was just one aspect of the day's festivities. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration featured music, keynote speakers, artwork and even a birthday cake to celebrate the activist's life and work.
Sarah Budeski, who designed and drew this year's MLK posters, took her favorite quote from Dr. King's letter from a Birmingham jail.
"Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever" she read, from her handwriting on the poster. "The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained..."
It's the 50th anniversary of that letter Dr. King wrote, and served as the theme of this year's celebration.
Budeski said Dr. King's writings still carry the same powerful message as they day he wrote them.
"That dream- if you have a dream- you should express it, and you should try to gain that and manifest into something that you want" she said. "His dream was one thing, but I think his real dream was for everyone to have a dream and to express that to the world."
The Chicks with Sticks marchers said it's important to keep Dr. King's legacy and message alive, and continue to develop those thoughts in the modern world.
"I think for him, he was really focusing on race because it was such an important issue in his day. And it still is, and there's other issues like gay and lesbian issues, poverty issues" said Shaun Phoenix, who serves as the group's "Co-Mother" with
Stormi Oshun. "So really making sure everyone's got a place at the table."
Community service-oriented One Million Ways Club from Chief Joseph Middle School helped organize the celebration, along with the Bozeman Public Library, MSU Awareness Office and the MLK Day Planning Committee.