Celebrations across the county will mark the 90th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., beginning this Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, and concluding on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.
Kingstown will kick off the festivities with the community's annual Martin Luther King, Jr., parade on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 at 2 p.m. The parade will begin at Kingstown Central Park and will end at Palmer Grover Baptist Church (PGBC), 1606 Kingston Rd., Shelby. After the parade, a light lunch will be served at PGBC, followed by a brief program. Those attending are asked to wear red, green, yellow and black clothing. For more information, contact Ramona Gash at 704-297-5040.
Shelby City Parks is hosting its annual "A Day to Remember" in honor of Dr. King on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the Holly Oak Park Gymnasium at 3 p.m.
Dr. Michael Isaac, pastor of Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Shelby, will be the keynote speaker at the event. The program will also include other local pastors and guest speakers, and music will be provided by Shoal Creek Baptist Church and Hopper's Chapel Church. For more information, contact Jimmy Poole at Shelby City Parks by calling 704-913-4375.
The Cleveland County NAACP's annual Unity March in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King will be held on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. Participants in the march will assemble at the Cleveland County Court House parking lot and will proceed down DeKalb Ave. and end at Malcolm Brown Auditorium. There, 90 balloons will be released in honor of what would have been Dr. King's 90th birthday. At noon, a celebration program will be held in Malcolm Brown Auditorium featuring Rev. Curtis Gatewood, president and founder of Jesus Uniting Souls. For more information, contact Sharon Martin by calling 704-487-0480.
Born in 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr., was a social activist and Baptist minister who was an important leader in the American civil rights movement, which began in the mid-1950s. He sought equality for African Americans via peaceful protests that were inspired by nonviolent activists such as Mahatma Gandhi. His famous "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. His work helped bring about the passage of important legislation, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King was assassinated in 1968. His life and legacy are remembered each year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which has been a federal holiday since 1986. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is close to King's birthday,
By April Hoyle Shauf, Special to Community First Media