Events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. won’t wait for Jan. 19, the federal holiday commemorating his life.
In Macon-Bibb County, they kicked off earlier this month with a concert at the Douglass Theatre. That was the first of two dozen events, scheduled through April 4, sponsored or endorsed by the Macon-Bibb County Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.
The next to come is also at the Douglass, at 7 p.m. Dec. 26: “Kwanzaa at the Douglass,” a free event celebrating and explaining the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
The commission announced the list of events at a Thursday news conference. Chairwoman Elaine Lucas, also a Macon-Bibb County commissioner, said commemoration of King should not revolve solely around the dates of his birth and death. The MLK commission wants people to be involved in related events year-round.
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A full schedule of the MLK-linked events will be shown on government access TV channel 14 and is posted at www.maconbibb.us/calendar.
Lucas said anyone knowing of other events honoring King should contact her, or Joyce Humphrey at the Macon-Bibb County Commission office, so those can be added to the calendar.
Plans so far culminate with a series of events on the holiday itself, including the annual memorial march that starts from four locations to converge at noon at the government center. The march is sponsored by the Evangelical Ministers Alliance.
Former Macon City Councilman Henry Ficklin, an MLK Commission member, said while giving a prayer that the need to commemorate King’s work is greater than ever. Now 51 years after King gave his historic “I have a dream” speech in Washington, D.C., race-based remarks continue to be made about President Barack Obama, he said.
New member of the commission Tonya Parker, director of education and outreach for the Tubman African American Museum, said the museum -- usually closed on Monday -- will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19. It will feature continuous showings of the 30-minute film “The Boy King,” while exhibits will feature King-related artwork and items.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.