Crowd comes out to honor King
Hundreds of residents came out Sunday afternoon to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The High Point Human Relations Commission held its 37th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration at High Point Theatre. Al Heggins, human relations director, said that the event is important to the community because the city is an international city.
“We really work very hard to uplift and preserve the human and civil rights for our citizens,” Heggins said. “The event brings home what Dr. King was all about, which was inclusivity. That we are inclusive of all people of all faiths and all walks of life. That human rights are fundamental in basic and central to human practices.”
The celebration was marked with musical selections by the Senior Class Chorus, a skit by Peg Leg Sam and Willie Lee Jackson from Temple Memorial Baptist Church, and dance ministries by Morning Glory Dance Ministry from Temple Memorial Baptist Church, Anointed Mime Ministry and Beautiful Ballerinas.
The program also included a recitation of the Langston Hughes’ poem “I, too” by the pre-kindergarten class of R.C. Baldwin Child Development Center.
The keynote speaker for the event was Mayor Bernita Sims. She addressed the crowd about King’s integrated dream and how it has not yet been realized, noting the racial, educational and labor disparity that minorities still face. She challenged the audience to stand up and exercise their rights as residents and Americans.
“We have a responsibility and obligation to the people of this country, whether legal or undocumented, to be the best country on the planet. We have a responsibility to educate our children, to prepare them for the best and most exciting future possible, and to leave them totally equipped to manage that future,” Sims said. “We are responsible for the legacy we leave this world and the framework for the promise that this country has guaranteed through its Constitution and its laws. We must become the agents of change.”
The 2013 Humanitarian Award was presented to Manilla Dean, a volunteer at West End Ministries, for her continued work of making sure that those who came to the agency’s kitchen looking for a hot meal received one.
“She gets the award based on the community work that she has done and how she has truly been a person in the community who has worked to make sure everyone has dignity,” Heggins said. “She has worked with people who are in dire situations. It makes you feel so wonderful when you know that your luck is down or that you are in a bad situation, that you are able to walk in, get a meal and are treated with the upmost respect and dignity.”
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List of area MLK events
• MLK Prayer and Scholarship Breakfast, 8 a.m., Williams Memorial CME Church, 3400 Triangle Lake Rd. Tickets are $15.
• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, 11 a.m. in the Conference Center on the DCCC-Davidson Campus. Keynote speaker: Andrew Watkins, youth pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Thomasville.
• High Point University’s annual MLK event, 11 a.m., Hayworth Chapel. Keynote speaker: The Rev. Dr. Clifford Jones, a minister from Charlotte.
• “Let Freedom Ring,” a one-man play written by Robert Clymire and starring Greenfair Moses III, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Room 110 of the Administration Building on the DCCC-Davie Campus.