MLK Celebration indoors this year

Published 12:44 pm Saturday, January 19, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


“Let us hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities and some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all of their scintillating beauty.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Letter From A Birmingham Jail


Due to inclement weather in the forecast, this year the MLK March will be held indoors at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church located at 512 West John Street in Orange.  

Sponsored by the Orange County branch of the NAACP, the event promises to be inspiring, and a cultural infusion.

“We want to present as a leader of justice and equality,” NAACP Secretary Deborah Mitchell said. “It is more relevant today than it has been in a long time.”

The event will honor pastor, Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.

On December 10, 1964, at age thirty-five, he becomes the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

“This is to infuse the culture,” Mitchell said. “Everybody in unity as brothers and sisters, neighbors. This is not about political parties but about people and purpose.”

Martin Luther King Day is a relatively new federal holiday and there are few long-standing traditions. It is seen as a day to promote equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their background. In recent years, federal legislation has encouraged Americans to give some of their time on this day as volunteers in citizen action groups.

Martin Luther King Day was first observed in 1986, although it was not observed in all states until the year 2000. 

King fought for civil rights and equality and did so peacefully.

King did not encourage violence; he was opposed to using violence to promote the cause.

As King wrote in his infamous letters from a Birmingham, Alabama jail, “I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”

Carolyn Mayfield is Orange Branch of NAACP President.