Baker observes MLK Day with march, speeches

Residents and community leaders in Baker marched together Monday morning to celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. before gathering at the city’s municipal complex to talk about King’s sacrifice and leadership.

“I know that, because of what he did, it certainly made my life better,” Baker Mayor Harold Rideau said.

Monday’s program, The Baker Martin Luther King Jr. Day Legacy March and Celebration, was sponsored by People Organized for Nonviolent Youth and hosted by the city.

Rideau said King’s work made him “want to stand up and do what’s right.”

State Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, D-Baton Rouge, who said she had the opportunity to see King as a child and march with him in Chicago, said King was a Baptist pastor who transformed into an amazing leader.

Broome said King was a transformational leader who has become an inspiration to generations.

“Dr. King knew that titles don’t make you a leader. He wasn’t concerned with titles. King was motivated by his heart to help people. His greatness was not about him but about what he was called to do,” she said.

Broome also said King’s legacy was “service, love, justice and achieving academically.”

Before the program, residents and city leaders marched from Baker City Hall down Groom Road to La. 19, then to Adams Street before wrapping up on Alabama Street.