Jan. 13, 2004 Join the St. John Interfaith Committee on Jan. 19 as they observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"He gave us a concrete vision for overcoming racism and celebrating membership in the human family," committee member Craig Barshinger said Tuesday.
The event begins at 9 a.m. with a program at the Guy Benjamin School basketball court in Coral Bay. Immediately following the program, a motorcade will leave from Coral Bay and proceed to Cruz Bay's tennis courts, where the participants will join the Police Department's Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Band for a march through the streets of Cruz Bay to Cruz Bay Park. A program at the park is expected to begin at 11 a.m.
The day's programs will feature essays, drama, songs, poetry, and art created by the island's youth. Members of the community will read excerpts from King's speeches and writings. St. John youth will then address social issues raised in King's various works.
A community lunch sponsored by St. John businesses and organizations will follow in the park.
Born Jan. 15, 1929 in Atlanta, King was the focal point of the civil rights struggle in America during the '60s. King was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., while helping to lead a sanitation workers protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to killing King and received a 99-year jail sentence. In 1998, Ray died in prison of complications from cirrhosis of the liver.
In 1986, then-President Ronald Reagan designated the third Monday in January as the official observance of King's birthday.
In a news release Barshinger noted that issues of race, gender, national origin, and ethnicity continue to impact our lives. He added that the struggle for justice and peace continues.
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