By CHERIL VERNON
PALESTINE — In memory and in honor of the man who made history for his civil rights endeavors, Palestine will celebrate Martin Luther King Day with a parade and program on Monday.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Palestine/Anderson County Unit No. 6242 will host the activities starting with a parade at 10 a.m. in downtown Palestine.
The parade will start on the south side of the Anderson County Courthouse and end at the Farmer's Market on Spring Street.
“We want people to come out and celebrate what Dr. King stood for and remember it is all about the service,” said Edwina Miller, one of the organizers of the event.
Parade coordinator Lola Abron is encouraging the public to participate in the parade.
Following the parade, a program and light lunch will be held about 11 a.m. at the Ben E. Keith Community Room, located at 2019 W. Oak St.
Guest speaker will be the Rev. Dwayne Moffitt, pastor of South Union Baptist Church of Palestine.
The free lunch will be provided by Progressive Waste Solutions. For more information about the parade, call 903-723-5697.
About Dr. King
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential players in the Civil Rights Movement. Following in the footsteps of his father, King entered the Christian ministry and was ordained at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in 1948 at the age of 19. After completing graduate studies at Boston University, King accepted a call to serve at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. In 1954. While there, he was instrumental in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, made famous by the nonviolent resistance and arrest of Rosa Parks. Resigning from his position in 1959, he moved back to Atlanta to drive the activities of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. From 1960 until his death in 1968, he served as a co-pastor with his father at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
King was arrested 30 times for his participation in civil rights activities. He preached often about justice, empowerment, love and peace, and toward the end of his life, poverty.
He was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. and died on April 4, 1968. He had gone to Memphis to help lead sanitation workers in a protest against low wages and intolerable working conditions.
A federal holiday marking the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. was signed in 1983. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Day as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. For more information about the day of service, visit http://mlkday.gov.