"We're making some progress, we haven't made it all the way, we haven't got there all the way but I have lived to see progress, I have lived to see a black president which I thought I would never see".
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr for county commissioner and longtime Jackson resident Katie Brantley wouldn't have been able to be where she is today without Dr. King's impact.
"Because of Martin Luther King, it gave me a chance to do that here in Jackson, get on boards and things and work with people and not have any problems."
Many Jackson residents, regardless of race, were impacted by Dr. King's marches against inequality and unfair pay.
"I would put it in perspective of the worker, his last visit to Memphis, Tennessee was to come here to help workers, help the people. My father was a member of organized labor down in McNairy county, we are still benefiting to this day from his work, to simply pay people a decent and honest wage" said Ricky Brown, Public Information officer for the NAACP of Jackson-Madison county.
Although there has been progress made in the fifty years since Dr King's death, there are still major issues facing the black community and the US as a whole
"Certainly there have been some obvious signs of progress, but when we look beneath the surface there is still grave inequalities, grave inequities in our society whether thats the destruction of public education, whether thats economic progress or the lack there off" according to Byron Elam, 2nd vice president for Jackson-Madison county NAACP
Only time will tell what progress will be made over the next fifty years
In jackson, for nbc 39 news, I'm Jackson Overstreet