More than a hundred people honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

BOSTON — Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by continuing his fight for equality decades later, more than one hundred people gathered in Roxbury Monday.

“Today, where we are almost 60 years removed from his speech, we’re still not as free as we could be,” said coach Bri Nichols, a member of the Dark Coalition of Brockton.

The group Violence in Boston organized the rally, led by Monica Cannon-Grant.

“Martin Luther King got beat, hosed and assaulted even while peacefully protesting,” said Cannon-Grant. “Those things are still happening today. Black people are being killed in their house eating ice cream, minding their business, so at this point, it’s survival.”

Cannon-Grant said the attack on the nation’s Capitol this month shows the stark difference in how people are treated based on the color of their skin.

“They were essentially protected,” said Nichols. “We weren’t even allowed during the George Floyd protest to even touch the steps of that Capitol, there’s women that we have to remember that were shot over 30 times just approaching the State Capitol.”

This group said while it’s good to show support for black lives on MLK Day, there needs to be action beyond this day.

“This is the opportune time to step up and plug in,” said Cannon-Grant. “There’s so many things that need to be done in the state of Massachusetts, we are not exempt from what happened at the Capitol.”

Cannon-Grant said she hopes people find concrete ways to make Boston more equitable and that her group has been putting in the work when they’re not protesting.

“We got two pieces of legislation passed, we fed 80,000 people in communities of color during a pandemic, we purchased housing for those coming home from incarceration that have nowhere to go,” said Cannon-Grant.

This rally was supposed to march to the state house from Roxbury, but Cannon-Grant said she cancelled that march for safety concerns, and she hopes demonstrations remain peaceful this week as we approach Inauguration Day.