By Ayesha K. Mustafaa
As a national holiday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated every year on the third Monday of January; his actual birthday is Jan. 15. While federal offices, banks, schools and businesses close out of respect for Dr. King’s leadership in the Civil Rights Movement, many have plans to take this not as a day off but as a time to reflect on the principles he espoused and on what needs to be done to complete his dream.
In the Jackson area, several events have already been announced on varying days to accommodate more public participation, the first as early as Sunday, Jan. 13, when the PERICO Institute for Youth Development and Entrepreneurship (PRIYDE) presents a “Soulful Celebration in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday” at the Jackson Medical Mall, 350 W. Woodrow Wilson Dr. Program is 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and featuring Tougaloo College’s Oriana Odell as host.
PERICO Institute involves approximately 100 youth ages 12 to 19 living in Central Mississippi – including Canton, Madison County, Jackson and Hinds County.
According to their press release, “Performing will be four to six area youth choirs and ‘praise dancers’ and the musical ‘Handel’s Messiah the Soulful Celebration,’ which is befitting the moral, religious and civil rights leader, Dr. King, who continues to lead and inspire millions of people of all ethnicities and in particular African Americans.”
Special guest artists include Benjamin Cone III and choreographer Tracie Wade James. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for students, infants and toddlers are free. Visit their website www.priydems.com to use paypal and for more information.
City Councilwoman LaRita Cooper-Stokes, Ward 3, announced that the 31st Annual Martin Luther King Parade will kick off Saturday, Jan. 19, at 10 a.m., at Freedom Corner, the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Medgar Evers Blvd. The parade theme is “Living the Dream in 2013.”
Parade lineup is 8:30 a.m. at Brinkley Middle School on Albermarle Road and Ridgeway Street.
For information, call Councilwoman Cooper-Stokes office 601-960-1090/1136 or fax 601-960-1032. The parade is sponsored by the City of Jackson and Ward 3.
The Margaret Walker Center on the campus of Jackson State University will celebrate its 44th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Convocation Friday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m., featuring Reena Evers-Everette as keynote speaker.
For greater details of this exceptional presentation, see page 9 in this issue of The Mississippi Link.