Several events scheduled to honor MLK
Published 9:29 am Monday, January 12, 2015
One week from today the nation will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and events honoring the late civil rights leader are scheduled for Vicksburg.
A prayer breakfast is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., Jan 19, at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Mulberry St. Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., the president of Alcorn State University, will be the guest speaker, said Annette Kirklin, executive director of the VCC. Reservations for the breakfast are required. For more information, call 601-630-2929.
Beginning at noon, the public is invited to attend a Martin Luther King service day where volunteers will clean debris, remove litter and beautify the MLK area located at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and First North St., Angela Turner said, who is the Community Development Housing Coordinator.
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“The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Project Alpha Leadership Club will be working on the monument as a community service project,” said Turner.
The groups will also be planting flower bulbs that will bloom in the spring, she said.
For more information, call 601-218-0402.
From 6 to 8 p.m. at the Vicksburg City Auditorium, 901 Monroe St., a celebration honoring Dr. King is planned, John Shorter said.
The guest speaker for the free event will be Dr. Ed King.
King, who is a Vicksburg native, was a major figure in the civil rights movement and is the author of “Mississippi: Behind the Scenes of Freedom Summer,” which features more than forty unpublished black-and-white photographs and substantial writings by King.
For more information call 601-636-4511.
In lieu of the annual MLK parade, beginning at 1 p.m. Feb. 21 during Black History month, a walk from the Old Court House to the MLK site is planned.
“I want the day to mean something more than a parade,” said Sylvester Walker, who is the founder and organizer of the local MLK parade, which has been held in downtown Vicksburg for the past 10 years.
“A parade is not enough for Dr. King because of what is going on the world,” he said.
“I want the parade route to change from downtown to a walk for peace,” Walker said.
“This will not be a walk with hands-up,” he said referring to protest marches that have recently occurred in other communities.
Walker said he feels like the Vicksburg residents and local police get along well and wants Vicksburg to set an example for other communities.
“Our police are here to protect us, and we are to obey the law,” he said.
Walker said the walk would lead to the MLK site at Martin Luther King Blvd. and First North St., and like the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Project Alpha Leadership Club, he wants to focus attention on the MLK site.
“Many people don’t know we have a site here, and we want people to know,” he said.
An upgrade to the existing monument is scheduled to be unveiled, and Walker hopes that he will be able to fly his multicultural flag he designed.
After the unveiling and clean-up, the walk will continue to Main Street, Walker said.
Walker said he encourages all church and social groups to participate. For more information, call 601-678-8263.