Each year, the third Monday in January is set aside, not as a day off work but a day to look back. in the Rio Grande Valley, organizers held a symbolic walk to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

“It’s a day that allowed us to have freedom, not just African Americans, but all of us to have the freedom to celebrate that we all have equality of life and can celebrate each other,” said Michael Smith.

Michael and Sharon Smith are Pastor and first lady of Faith Fellowship Church in McAllen. They’re also on the board for the Juneteenth celebration in Edinburg and they want to show the community how far we’ve come.

“Striving for equality for all men and women. Blacks, whites and whatever he wanted all of us to be equal, and now we are actually being able to do the things that he died for,” he said.

The celebration doesn’t stop as they will continue to work to educate the community on black history.

“We carry this over into the month of February and let everyone know about Black History month and get them prepared for Juneteenth, so we have a celebration on Juneteenth,” said Sharon Smith.