MLK Birthday Observance Set Stage For 50th Anniversary Of “I Have A Dream” Speech


Dr. Bernice King speaking at the podium at the Annual Commemorative Service in Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary on January 21.
Dr. Bernice King speaking at the podium at the Annual Commemorative Service in Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary on January 21.

The King Center’s 10-day program commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 84th birthday reflected the Civil Rights leader’s impassioned advocacy of diversity, nonviolence and youth activism in challenging the nation to fulfill his dream. The King Center organized and co-presented 14 well-attended events during the 2013 MLK observance.

“Our 2013 observance of my father’s birthday was among the most inspiring and exciting programs we have held during the King Center’s 45 years of annual commemorations of MLK day,” said King Center Chief Executive Officer Bernice A. King.

In terms of diversity, Ms. King noted that the nation’s flagship Annual Commemorative Service in Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary on January 21, the MLK holiday, featured a keynote speech by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which drew standing ovations. Describing himself

“as a child of Dr. King’s Dream,’ Rev. Rodriguez told the crowd, “Silence is not an option when 30 million of our brothers and sisters live in poverty,” he said. “Silence is not an option when 11 million undocumented individuals continue to live in the shadows. And by the way, they are undocumented and not illegal. Because a human being made in the image of God cannot be illegal.” Following the service, The King Center held a presidential inauguration “viewing party” in Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the ceremony was shown on a jumbotron video screen. Viewers watched as President Obama took the oath of office with his hand on the bibles of President Lincoln and Dr. King. The confluence of the inauguration, Dr. King’s Bible, Ebenezer and The Holiday was significant and symbolically powerful for those in attendance because it re-affirmed the connection of the moment to the movement led by Dr. King.

For more informat please visit www.thekingcenter.org.


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