Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—Martin Luther King Day is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come as a country. To honor Dr. Kings legacy, many communities across the Rio Grande Valley held celebrations.

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“Martin King, even though many of us were younger when he certainly at the panicle of his work, influencing social change raising the consciousness of this nation with treating everybody with equal humanity,” said Ray Howard.

He has called the Valley home for a few years. In a time of historic moments, Howard adds MLK day is a time to reflect.

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“A chance to pause and break away from some of the craziness around us and reflect on his ideals,” he said. “Going back a few decades maybe 20’s or 30’s there was a much more sizeable black community here in the RGV.”

Also looking to unite the community is Dr. Teresa Gatling, who runs Village In The Valley.

“A mission of elevating and uniting the black community while connecting the cultures of the Rio Grande Valley,” she said, “We are spread out all over we go from Brownsville all the way up to Rio Grande City with pockets of people there is no one black community.”

Dr. Gatling said it’s all about having those conversations.

Valley community celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“I had a little boy ask me why is your skin brown. Why are you brown? I said because god makes people in all people in beautiful different colors. So I’m brown what color are you? He said I’m gold and I thought that was the best answer I said you are right you are gold,” she said.

Community members working to keep Dr. King’s dream alive in the Valley.

“To learn how to lift us all up learn how to protect each other to learn how to give and not be so concerned about what I can get but what I can contribute,” said Howard.

To find out more about village in the valley, click here.