Ovide Duncantell was described by friends and loved ones as a man who possessed an unwavering conviction in his beliefs, and as a member of the Civil Rights movements, the Houston native tapped into that to organize the nation’s first-ever Martin Luther King Jr parade.
And while Duncantell dedicated his life to preserving Dr. King’s legacy, it was his own life that was remembered at his funeral. On Oct. 25, 2018, Duncantell died.
“In this day and age there are so few people who are willing to die for what’s right,” Houston Independent School District Vice President Jolanda Jones said. “He was willing to die.”
When he was 41-years-old, Duncantell reportedly founded the Black Heritage Society and the MLK Day parade.
“This parade is a reminder that there’s still an opportunity to preserve the dream, to continue to keep that legacy alive of hope, inclusivity, support, and love,” Ivy Okoro, who is the Assistant Project Manager for the parade said. “Mr. Duncantell represented all of those things.”
The activist’s respect for King didn’t stop there. He was also the reason for the renaming of South Park Boulevard to Martin Luther King Boulevard, and also why a statue of King in McGregor Park was constructed.
Duncantell was 81-year-old.