Several MLK Day events planned

Published 7:46 pm Friday, January 5, 2018

There may be no Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Vicksburg this year, but multiple events will still be held Monday Jan. 15 to honor King’s 89th birthday.

The Omicron Rho Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity is hosting its annual scholarship breakfast Monday at 8:30 a.m. and the Dr. King Memorial Day Committee will host its annual program at 6 p.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

“This celebration is about remembering the legacy that Dr. King left,” Bobbie Bingham Morrow, chair of the Dr. King Memorial Day Committee, said. “On this day our focus is a day of service. We are supposed to be giving service to the community. Not necessarily that the community is expecting something big, grand or bodacious that the government or anybody is going to do for us. We’re supposed to be giving service.”

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Bishop Ronnie C. Crudup will serve as the guest speaker during the program and Miss Mississippi Anne Elizabeth Buys and the Dr. King Memorial Day Youth Choir will perform.

Sylvester Walker, who organizes the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Vicksburg, said Thursday he decided to not organize a parade this year because, “I don’t want Dr. King’s dream just to be a dream and what it is turning out to be with all of the things that go on in this city, the crime and no jobs.”

Morrow said if Walker has decided not to organize the parade the memorial day committee would have put one together if they had been notified.

“If he has decided that he doesn’t want to do it anymore, then we will be more than happy to take it over,” Bingham Morrow said. “When I say we, I am talking about the Martin Luther King Memorial Committee. This celebration is not necessary about upholding the dream of Dr. King. This celebration is about remembering the legacy that Dr. King left … Each of us as individuals has to do something to uphold that dream. We can’t rely on other people to do it.”

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said that he is “all for parades,” but they have to be organized and if Walker doesn’t wish to do it the committee will. He added that the city, county and school board work every day to uphold the dream of Dr. King.

“His whole mission was about equality and justice and education and economic opportunity,” Flaggs said. “We do it every day. It is being done every day through the city, the school system, through the community. If Vicksburg is not living out Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream then my whole living has been in vain as mayor of this city.

“The parade is part of a celebration and I am all for parades, but it has to be organized. You can’t just throw it together. That is what this committee wanted to do. They wanted to be able to help out with the parade.”