Events are getting underway celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, in advance of MLK day on Monday. Southport will start its annual celebration Sunday. This year the focus is on the youth. It kicks off with a Memorial March at 3 pm in the parking lot of the ILA Union Hall. After that, a youth-oriented program at Union Hall gets underway. It features representatives from the schools and music from a choir and a rapper. Then Monday, the celebration culminates with the Annual Roundtable Breakfast at 8 am at Trinity United Methodist Church. The keynote speaker is NC Court of Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant. Ralph Parker is a member of the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee. He says they’ll also be giving out the Walter Welsh Award at the breakfast.
“That’s presented in memory of a member of our committee. He was an elderly man, lived to be almost 90 years old. He worked to promote diversity, equality, pushed for understanding cultural differences and this type of thing. So in his memory, we’re going to give that to who we think is a deserving member of our community.
Parker says first time visitors to the annual event can expect a celebration that will be “informative, interesting, and very inspiring. And the whole focus is on trying to do things in commemoration of the legacy and philosophy of Dr. King.”
Celebrations are already underway in Wilmington. Among the many events are tonight’s Martin Luther King Junior Celebration Awards Banquet being help at the Wilmington Convention Center. Tomorrow features the NAACP MLK Breakfast at 9 am at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. There’s also a Kid’s Day in the Park and an oyster roast. Monday’s annual Martin Luther King Parade will be downtown this year, after being held for years on Castle Street. And if you just can’t get enough after all that, you’re in luck! Thursday will feature “Portrait of a Dreamer,” a multimedia salute to Dr. King at UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium.
Click the above audio file to hear more from Ralph Parker of the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee.