Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
The local chapter of the NAACP will honor a true American hero this weekend and the public is invited.
The Orange chapter of the NAACP presents the first ever Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19, at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 612 Third St. in Orange and the organization encourages the public to attend.
In years past, a march would be held through the streets of Orange from the East Side of the community to the steps of the Orange County Courthouse. This year there will not be a march, but a gathering to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
“We wanted to celebrate this special holiday at the church this year,” said Jackie Mayfield, president of the Orange chapter of the NAACP. “We may go back to a march next year, but we wanted to do this celebration this year.”
The event will include various activities and information, including community and youth speakers. There will be plenty of historical information on King and others who have fuel civil rights and equality and musical talent.
“We are going to provide some educational information on the Dr. King,” Mayfield explained. “And some of the people who were part of that movement. Every great man and woman has a team of people who were instrumental and we want people to know about them as well.”
Mayfield said America has produced “a lot of civil rights activists” but there are many people who are from Orange which have contributed in their own ways as well.
Mayfield said several of those individuals, all of which are deceased, will be recognized and discussed as well. Those people include John Arnold, Fred Early, Daniel Jackson, Odessa Jackson, Velma Jeter, Solomon Johnson and James Zay Roberts.
“We want to make this an educational event for everyone, but especially for the younger people who may not know as much about these important individuals,” Mayfield stated. “That who we are trying to focus on.”
The celebration will be a moving and informative event for all who attend. The prayer will be led by Pastor Larry Anderson of Kingdom Fellowship Tabernacle as well.
“Our diversity is what makes us great as Americans,” Mayfield said. “Dr. King is a great American hero with world-wide implications. We encourage everyone to come out and join in the celebration and be participatory.”