One of most galvanizing voices in American history, Martin Luther King Jr. cultivated a dream among generations of African Americans seeking true equality in their own country.
A cornerstone voice of the American Civil Rights movement of the mid-1950s, King’s peaceful fight and powerful speeches have echoed throughout the American zeitgeist, setting the stage for the country’s first African-American president, and the continued fight for true equality among people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.
Moments like the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington spurned legislative actions like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, landmark decisions that reshaped the entire country. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was assassinated in 1968. Since 1986, his Jan. 21 birthday has been celebrated as a federal holiday.
In Savannah, there will be a number of events celebrating the legacy of King. A citywide MLK Memorial Worship Service will be held at 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Second African Baptist Church, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” sermon in the early 1960s and which he later famously repeated during the March on Washington.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade will begin at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at East Broad and Liberty Streets, and will end at the intersection of West Anderson Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Included in the weekend events are jazz concerts, a gospel festival, dinners and gatherings of all kinds.
You can find a detailed list of events at mlkingsavannah.com.
Business and Community Unity Brunch: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 19; Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, 1 International Drive; $50 donation at Eventbrite.com. Speaker is Amir Jamal Toure, professor of African Studies, owner of Day Clean Journeys, cultural historian. MLK Observance Day Association, mlkingsavannah.com.
Citywide MLK Memorial Worship Service: 5 p.m. Jan. 20; Second African Baptist Church; free. Speaker is Rev. David F. Richards III, New Hope AME Church, Atlanta. MLK Observance Day Association, mlkingsavannah.com.
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade: 10 a.m. Jan. 21; starts at East Broad and Liberty streets, north on East Broad, west on East Oglethorpe, north on Price Street, west on East Broughton, left on MLK Jr. Boulevard., to West Anderson Street. Map at mlkingsavannah.com.
MLK Worship: 10 a.m. Jan. 21; St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1401 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; free; The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia has participated since the event’s inception in 1985. The Diocese will hold a service of Holy Eucharist after the march at St. Matthew’s Church, and host a concluding reception with a light lunch in St. Matthew’s Parish Hall. All are welcome to participate in these events.
Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Celebration: noon Jan. 30; GSU Armstrong Campus student ballroom; https://bit.ly/2TzG9YL. Speaker is journalist and author Roland S. Martin.