CARSON, Calif. (KABC) -- Days ahead of the national holiday to remember and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the city of Carson held its annual tribute to the late civil rights leader.
Friday's celebration featured live entertainment, speeches and a resounding call to end racial inequality without violence.
King's legacy filled the hearts of people in the audience, including Earline Gentry.
"Regardless of the color of our skin, we will be united as one. Because unity is community. We can't make it without each other," Gentry said.
The city's celebration featured appreciation for King through dance on the stage as well as through the written word.
MMasi Ofiabulu, 11, was among the 16 students who wrote an essay, using King's evolution within the civil rights movement as a foundation in describing how they are becoming better human beings.
She added King's story inspired her to help others as a medical doctor when she's older.
"I love him. He's the best."
"I want everyone on Monday to realize this is about celebrating Dr. King. Don't just take it as a day off... Remember the man, remember what he stood for," said Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes.
That's what this community event has done for more than two decades, keeping King's dream alive.