MLK Day Celebrations Held Nationwide
January 21, 2014 at 9:42 AM (PT)
KING HOLIDAY celebrations to honor the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. were in full force yesterday. Stations, musicians and dignitaries from coast to coast took part in a variety of activities; here is a snap shot.
HOWARD UNIVERSITY Urban WHUR/WASHINGTON,D.C. and THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GLENARDEN held a town hall meeting. "The ABC's of MLK -- Why Education Remains a Key Component of the DR. KING Dream." Gospel recording artist DOANALD LAWRENCE performed.
It was the 29th Annual KINGDOM DAY PARADE in LOS ANGELES. VH1's Basketball Wives Exec. Producer SHAUNIE O' NEAL served as this year's celebrity Grand Marshall. Immediately afterwards, RADIO FREE Urban AC KJLH (102.3) held KINGFEST 2014 with performances by MICHELL'LE, MIKKI HOWARD, AREILLA BLU,and other local artists.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI Rap star CHUCK D, who co-founded the famed hip-hop group PUBLIC ENEMY, was the keynote speaker at GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE 28th Annual DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR Day Commemoration.
CBS Urban WVEE/ATLANTA's THE RYAN CAMERON morning show f/WANDA SMITH and MO IVORY did a live show from the KING CENTER, while sister station WAOK aired the MLK COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE live from EBENNEZER BAPTIST CHURCH. Later in the day, air personalities from both stations helped with HOSEA FEED THE HUNGRY AND HOMELESS at the GEORGIA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER. According to reports, more than 10,000 people were fed meals.
CLEAR CHANNEL Urban WUSL (POWER 99)/PHILADELPHIA hosted the MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY of Service 3rd Annual Jobs and Opportunities Fair at GIRADE COLLEGE.
YMF Urban WBLS (107.5)/NEW YORK scheduled The APOLLLO UPTOWN HALL "DREAMS FOR NYC INSPIRED BY MLK," looking back at significant events over the past 50 years including the signing of the Civil Rights Act, Dr. KING's winning of the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, and a look to NYC's future. Highlights included panel discussions with notable Black Culture authorities author NELSON GEORGE and Rep HAKEEM JEFFRIES. The event began with a JIMI HENDRIX-inspired performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" by GRAMMY AWARD winner VERNON REID on the very stage HENDRIX won Amateur Night at THE APOLLO in 1964.
CLEAR CHANNEL/CHICAGO participated in the RAINBOW COILITION PUSH EXCEL 24th Annual DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. SCHOLARSHIP BREAKFAST at the HYATT REGENCY Grand Ball Room.
In MINNEAPOLIS, THE UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND AND THE GENERAL MILLS FOUNDATION honored the day with the 24th Annual DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY BREAKFAST with featured keynote speaker DONNA BRAZILE, veteran political strategist, adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist and regular contributor to CNN and ABC News. The event was help at the CONVENTION CENTER.
SERVICE BROADCASTING Urban KKDA and KRNB/DALLAS took part in the 28th Annual ELETE NEWS MLK PARADE in downtown DALLAS.
CBS Urban WPEG & WBAV/CHARLOTTE joined the city in a day of floats, marching bands, local civic and business leaders, politicians and cheering crowds in celebration of the KING Holiday.
CBG Urban KPRS/KPRT KANSAS CITY was involved with numerous activities. There was a community luncheon featuring noted civil rights leader JULIAN BOND at the SHERIDAN HOTEL. The SCLC BLACK ACHIEVERS SOCIETIES held the 39th Annual Reception/Awards Dinner at the WESTIN CROWN CENTER. THE YOUTH LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP took place at the KAUFFMAN CENTER, featuring former track and WNBA STAR MARION JONES, and capping it off was the Annual MLK MASS CELEBRATION AT METROPOLITIAN MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH.
One of the largest MLK celebrations took place in SAN ANTONIO, TX where the crowd was again estimated to be over 100,000 for the annual parade. The racial makeup of the city is 63% Latino and 7% African-American.
In BOSTON, the 44th Annual MARTIN LUTHER KING JR MEMORIAL BREAKFAST took place at the BOSTON CONVENTION CENTER. Featured speakers included MASSACHUETTS Governor DUVAL PATRICK, Mayor MARTY WALSH, U.S. Senators ELIZABETH WARREN and ED MARKEY.
How MLK Day Came To Be
The difficult struggle to make DR. KING's birthday a holiday took 15 years of conversation, patience, dedicated believers in his message, and politicians wanting to recognize the memory of the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE winner. STEVIE WONDER helped the cause in 1981 by releasing the song "Happy Birthday" to build towards a holiday to commemorate his achievements. In 1983, Congress passed the measure and President RONALD REAGAN signed it into law making it a Federal holiday.
Dr. KING was born in ATLANTA on JANUARY 15th, 1929, but the KING holiday is celebrated each year on the 3rd MONDAY of JANUARY.