Western Masssachusetts residents reflect on legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Monday people across the nation will honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Springfield residents told 22News how Dr. King’s legacy lives on through people of all different colors, creeds, and backgrounds.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than a day for people to take off work. The holiday honors the life of the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement.

Although African-Americans make up just under half of Springfield’s entire population, One resident told 22News his impact affects people of all walks of life. “We do come together as communities,” said Samuel Smith. “Black, White, Hispanic all races and it just signifies that his work remains.”

Even though Dr. King made significant steps towards racial equality, one Holyoke resident says his work is far from over. “You still see a lot of racial comments and everybody coming against each other,” said Jessica Cruz. “It’s still very much alive, but if we had more people like him the world would be a better place.”

Dr. King’s legacy will be celebrated throughout western Massachusetts on the holiday. Multiple celebrations are scheduled to take place at Tower Square in Springfield and Edwards Church in Northampton. All events are free and open to the public.

Monday would have been Dr. King’s 89th birthday.

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