T'IS THE SEASON FOR CELEBRATING THE WORKS OF REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING
BY Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Hard on the heels of Christmas and Kwanzaa and continuing through the end of March, are 105 reasons, or more, to celebrate ourselves and each other, and the accomplishments of our ancestors who paved the way for us.
I, personally, consider Dr. King's Birthday Celebration the actual Kick off to Black History Month(s). Even though Dr. Carter G. Woodson actually established it in February to celebrate the lives to two great men: Frederick Douglas, born February 14, and Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, we actually start with Dr. King, work our way through February, and culminate with Women's History Month, where we have so many Black women who have made considerable contributions to the world (starting with each of our mothers, and working our way forward.)
While the jockeying for position as to who presents the best KING-DAY ceremony is beginning to spread, there is one organization that has consistently kept the quality of the program for youth for 25 years: THE CENTRAL BROOKLYN MARTIN LUTHER KING COMMISSION.
On January 18, 2010, the Commission will sponsor the “Children’s Celebration” of the birth, life and achievements of Martin Luther King at 1:00PM at the Prospect Heights High School Campus auditorium (Classon Ave and Union St.) The theme for 2010 is: MARTIN LUTHER KING’S SPIRIT SOARS IN BROOKLYN.
Special awards will be presented to 26 winners of the annual MLK essay poetry and art contests for elementary, Junior High and High School students. The Holiday afternoon celebration is a family affair. Special T-Shirts will be given to all of the youth participating in the contest. The ceremony will end with a special talent salute in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Our children need community winds beneath their wings in order to soar forward into the promised land. The youthful wings of education deserve total support from all of us who care about the future”, stated Lorrelle Henry, Commission President. “In our twenty-fifth year we remain inspired, optimistic and committed to improve education in Central Brooklyn.”
As advocates and activists for education, other activities planned by the organization include the following:
- Inviting Geoffrey Canada, Founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone to lead a forum designed to replicate a similar project in Central Brooklyn, which has one of the largest concentrations of at-risk children in the nation. It is hoped that the “Zone” concept could be extended to serve as the core of a larger “Central Brooklyn Education Park”. Congressman Major Owens, a founding member and active participant in the organization, has prepared a proposal for the park concept.
- Collaborate with former Assemblyman Roger Green to promote a new Martin Luther King Heritage Center and Archive in Central Brooklyn. Green is the original author of the NY State Legislation that funded King memorial activities throughout the State.
- Actively seek funding for the Martin Luther King Strivers Program to provide direct assistance to at-risk youth.
- Evaluate, consolidate and review its progress and sponsorship leading-up to its 25th Anniversary Gala in the Fall of 2010.
As with many of our Black organizations, contributions and donations are needed and most definitely welcome. You can contact them by calling 718-771-8234; you can support them by being there as part of the audience on Monday, January 18, at 1:00 pm as these children perform for their peers, but more importantly, for their elders.
In point of fact, please don't just take that Monday off as a sleep at home day, or a chance to go shopping. That is not why so many of us marched to have a holiday in Dr. King's honor. Nor is it why Dr. King's life was taken from him. And now more than ever, when we protest and complain that our youth don't know what they should about their history and heritage, we have to the the main ones sitting there in support of these kids who are keeping the faith and keeping the dream alive.
Come, bring your children, your friends and neighbors. Print, paste, publish, pass it on, participate. This is for all of us.
Stay blessed &