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01-12-09, 07:23 AM #1
MLK celebration a dream fulfilled
MLK celebration a dream fulfilled
The 2009 King Day Celebration will recognize King’s dream being manifested in the recent presidential election, officials say.
Jennifer Maddox Parks email@example.com
ALBANY — Performances by the Tuskegee Choir and award presentations are among the events scheduled locally for Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 19, but officials say the celebration will have a different element this year.
“I truly believe in King’s dream; it is something that can fulfill everyone,” said King Day Committee Public Relations Director Calandra Jefferson. “The presidential election is a manifestation of that.”
Jewell Faison, who has been involved with the local King Day celebration for 12 years, says she is enthusiastic about the togetherness this year’s program will bring.
“Leadership has come together (in years past) for the celebration dinner at the Civic Center. It’s a wonderful affair,” she said. “The purpose is to celebrate because (King) has given us something great, and it’s an opportunity to bring the city together. The whole community embraces it.”
Jefferson has been involved with the annual celebration for four years and still views it as something that has a significant impact on the community.
“Everyone can come together and benefit,” she said. “It affects everyone’s life. We offer the opportunity for everyone to attend.”
If nothing else, the event offers people an opportunity to stop and embrace the historical significance of King’s life.
“It keeps the memory of what we are supposed to be in terms of moving forward. It gives us an opportunity to stop and think about it,” said Faison. “Having a day set aside gives us a time to stop and embrace what we stood for.”
Officials with Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany will be among the community representatives at the event. The Albany Marine Band will be present, and the base’s color guard will be presenting the national flag. Like other community representatives, the Marines participate to honor what the celebration stands for.
“The Marines of Albany stand with the city of Albany in celebrating what Martin Luther King stood for,” said MCLB-Albany Public Affairs Officer 1st Lt. Caleb Eames. “His honorable cause, courageous stand and committment to freedom are exactly what Marines today still fight for.”
Many people in the area are expected to be en route to Washington the day of the event, as the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama will be held the day afterward. Despite that, officials still expect public support for Martin Luther King Day to be fairly strong.
“(The event) will be well-attended,” Jefferson said. “People will be geared for the inauguration, but participation and support will be very good. It’s more than a celebration of King.”
Another possible concern among officials has been the recent economic downturn, which is not expected to waver support of the day’s festivities.
“(The event) will be exceptionally successful,” Faison said. “The economy is hampering a lot of things, but we don’t expect a tremendous diminish. The event is the day before the inauguration, so there will be a lot of people traveling.”
Seating at the Civic Center will begin at 5 p.m. The program starts at 5:30 p.m. Admission for the dinner is $20 on the floor, but seating in the bleachers will be free. Proceeds will go to benefit the Albany Civil Rights Institute and the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center in Atlanta.
Also on Jan. 19 there will be a 7:30 a.m. program and breakfast at Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 1905 Martin Luther King Drive. Bishop J. Nathan Paige from Victorious Life Church will be the keynote speaker, and there will be a performance by the Collective Praise Ensemble.
There is also a 10 a.m. event scheduled on Martin Luther King Day at the Charles M. Sherrod Civil Rights Park at 300 S. Jackson St. Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver will be keynote speaker.
On Sunday, Jan. 18, the public is invited to attend the Albany Baptist Ministers Conference’s annual MLK celebration at Greater Cutliff Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 835 W. Broad Ave. The Rev. W.W. Wilson of New Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Cordele will be the guest speaker for the 6 p.m. service.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
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