By Jackie Hampton,
The campaign for a federal holiday in honor of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began just 4 days after his assassination on April 4, 1968. U. S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) introduced legislation to establish the holiday just four days after Dr. King was killed, but Congress took no action on the bill. It took 15 years of fighting for MLK Day to be declared a national holiday.
On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the Kind Holiday into law, designating the third Monday in January a federal holiday in observance of Dr. King. Today, it is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their communities.
It is a time when civic and church organizations give of their time and resources to help others by giving to the homeless, having clean-up campaigns and sponsoring special events to recognize the work of Dr. King.
Several activities have already taken place at schools and churches such as ‘School Day” at Jim Hill High School (Jan. 9th), Provine High School (Jan. 10th), Lanier High School (Jan. 11th) and an MLK observation at True Believers Church.
A glimpse at some of the additional events leading up to the celebration of Dr. King’s holiday include the following:
Friday, January 13, 2023: Talent Show at Lanier High School
Talent Show with WJMI, WKXI, & WOAD will be held at 6 p.m. at Lanier High School located at 833 Maple Street in Jackson
Saturday, January 14, 2023: 55th Annual Mlk Convocation and 28th Annual For My People Awards
The 55th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Convocation will begin at 9 a.m. in the M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge auditorium at 1072 John R. Lynch Street.
Saturday, January 14, 2023: Mlk, Jr. Parade
The parade begins at Freedom Corner, Medgar Evers & M. L. King, Jr. Drive intersection at 10 a.m. The route will proceed south on Rev. Dr. M.L. King, Jr. Drive, ending at Historic Lanier High School.
Sunday, Janury 15, 2023: Gospel Celebration, Medgar Evers Library. This celebration in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will begin at 2 p.m., in the library located at 4215 Medgar Evers Blvd.
Monday, January 16, 2023: 32ND Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer and Celebration – 7:30 a.m. at New Horizon Church, 1750 Ellis Avenue hosted by The Hinds County Legislators, Corporate Sponsors and Community Service organizations of Jackson
Monday, January 16, 2023: 10 a.m. Laying of the Wreaths, Freedom Corner; 12 noon: Birthday Bash, City Hall
Monday, January 16, 2023: Mlk Celebration: Night Of Culture. The annual MLK Night of Culture at the Two Mississippi Museums, will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This year’s theme is inspired by the Black Empowerment gallery of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum which highlights the unity and determination of black Mississippians demanding their civil rights in the late 1960s.
Monday, January 16, 2023: Voices Of Freedom: A Mlk Day Celebration. Voices of Freedom: A Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Duling Hall, 622 Duling Avenue. This event is an exploration of Black Culture and the Civil Rights Movement through stories, spoken words and song for the purpose of understanding, uplifting, and unifying.
Monday, January 16, 2023: Millsaps College And Tougaloo College present “A Call To Conscience: Let Us Be Disatisfied.” This collaborative event will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, January 16, in Yates Chapel, located in the Selby & Richard McRae Christian Center on the campus of Millsaps College, hosted by Reverend CJ Rhodes.
Friday, February 3, 2023: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Banquet. The M.L.K. Jr. Awards Banquet will be held at 6 p.m., in the Jackson State University Ballrooms.