|Parades, rallies and service projects to mark King holiday|
|Written by Joshua Smith|
Organizations throughout Metro Atlanta will celebrate more than 40 years of preserving history, heritage and the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. with several commemorative events during the King Holiday. The slain civil rights leader would have turned 84 this January had he lived. When the National holiday is observed on Jan. 21, it will mark the same day President Barack Obama will be sworn into office for his second term.
King Center lays out events to mark King’s legacy
On the MLK holiday, The King Center encourages the world to engage in volunteer service in tribute to the work and life of Dr. King. This year’s theme is “Remember! Celebrate! Act! King’s Dream for Our World.
On Jan. 20, the King Center’s Freedom Hall Auditorium, 449 Auburn Ave., N.E., Atlanta will host a book signing. The event will feature Dr. Christine King Farris, the oldest remaining sibling of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dr. Angela Farris Watkins, the niece of the civil rights leader who will discuss and autograph their books about the life and times of King growing up and preaching in Atlanta from a sibling’s perspective, as well as highlights of his conversations and speeches.
On Jan. 21, Hands on Atlanta will sponsor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Project.
Get involved in diverse community service projects throughout Atlanta in honor of Dr. King. 404-979-2800.
A complete schedule of events can be viewed at the King Center’s web site: www.thekingcenter.org. 404-526-8900.
Ebenezer Baptist to hold commemorative service
Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was baptized, will host a commemorative service to honor King’s legacy on Jan. 21, 8 p.m. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary, 407 Auburn Ave., N.E., Atlanta.
Limited seating will be available for the worship service, which is open to the public. The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, will be the keynote speaker. The Commemorative Service also will feature a performance by acclaimed recording artist Angella Christie.
For more information: 404-331-5190.
March Committee ready to honor King
The Martin Luther King, Jr. March Committee will host its annual parade on Jan. 21, 2 p.m., starting at Peachtree and Baker streets and ending at the King National Park area on Auburn Avenue. A rally will follow the parade.
This year’s theme, “Keeping the Dream Alive: Continuing the Journey—The Next Movement,” encourages the nation to participate in service projects around the metro Atlanta area.
Ebony Society ready for community celebration
The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County, Inc. will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on Jan. 20 and 21.
This year’s theme, “Character and Service,” is a call to the community to answer the passionate words by Dr. King: What are you doing for others?
On Jan. 20, 3:30 p.m., the celebration starts at Meadowcreek High School, 4455 Steve Reynolds Blvd., Norcross. There will be essay readings and performances by Gwinnett students.
On Jan. 21, a parade honoring the civil rights leader begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, and ends at the Moore Middle School, 1221 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville.
For more information on the celebration, visit www.unitedebonysociety.org or call 678-856-7602.
DeKalb NAACP will mark King Holiday with parade, bands and personalities
DeKalb NAACP’s will celebrate the holiday with a new parade route this year. The annual event is moving from downtown Stone Mountain to the recently designated Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway (Snapfinger Road in South DeKalb). The parade will be held Jan. 21.
Snapfinger Road last year became the first thoroughfare in DeKalb County named for King after State Sen. Ronald Ramsey led the push to honor Atlanta’s native son in DeKalb.
The parade will start at Ray of Hope Christian Church, 2778 Snapfinger Road, and end at Martin Luther King Jr. High School, 3991 Snapfinger Road. The lineup begins at 10:30 a.m. and the march begins at 12:30 p.m. The route is roughly three miles, organizers say.
Speeches, essays mark Lithonia celebration
Repertoire Inc. will celebrate the King holiday with its “Living the Dream” program on Jan. 21, 8 a.m. – noon, at the Lucious Sanders Community Center, 2484 Bruce St., Lithonia.
Fun and educational events will be held for children including a speech and an essay contest for elementary to high school students who will compete for a first place prize of $100; second place prize of $50; and third place will get $25.
The Presidential Inauguration, which is scheduled to take place on the same day, will be shown on a movie screen at the center.
For more information on the event or the contests, call 770-482-7464 or 770-484-7136.
Rockdale groups to host King tribute breakfast
The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and the Rockdale NAACP will co-host a Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute breakfast on Jan. 21, 7:30 – 9 a.m., at Longhorn Steakhouse, 1294 Iris Drive, S.W., Conyers. The breakfast is held annually to commemorate the life and achievements of King.
Proceeds from the breakfast will be donated to United Way in Rockdale to benefit programs addressing homelessness in the community.
The cost to attend the breakfast is $10. Advanced tickets may be purchased from the Chamber of Commerce, located at 1186 Scott Street, Conyers. For more information, call 770-483-7049.