Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Dallas in 1966 to speak at SMU.
But King wasn't welcomed in a city that was racially divided at the time, said Dallas civil rights activist Peter Johnson.
"When I first came here it was one of the most segregated cities I had ever been in," Johnson said, "and I worked in every southern state."
Johnson who was one of Dr. King’s friends said the civil rights leader was not even welcomed in Dallas by the black community.
"He was boycotted by the Negro leadership and Negro preachers," Johnson said. "Black preachers here. Only city in the nation where the black community officially boycotted a speech by Dr. King."
At the time, Johnson said, the white leadership was in control and the black community stayed in the shadows.
"It hurt Dr. King's feelings," Johnson said. "It really hurt his feelings."
Johnson, along with other civil rights leaders, went to jail to fight for equal rights. He refuses to participate in MLK parades.
"The parades are an insult to our legacy," Johnson said. "Our protests did not have marching bands or floats and half naked little girls. It's a disgrace to our legacy."
Instead, he said people should be marching for equal pay, better education and issues that matter.
“If you are going to have something to honor Dr. King, it should center around what he fought for, what he stood for and the challenges facing humanity today," Johnson said.
Johnson said while there have been great strides made in Dallas with blacks now in top leadership positions, such as District Attorney Faith Johnson, he feels there is still a long way to go to realize Dr. King's dream of equality.