Celebrating Dr. King Copyright © 2017 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
January 14, 2017
Dr. King’s birth home reopening Jan. 16
Curtis Parker / CrossRoadsNews
The first floor of the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta will stay open until further notice. The home was closed in August 2016 for repairs.
By Rosie Manins
The birth home of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which closed in August 2016 for repairs, will reopen to visitors on Jan. 16 – but only partially. The National Park Service says the first floor of the historic home on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta will reopen on the King national holiday and stay open until further notice. The home is a featured attraction at the 42-acre Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site that includes the crypts of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King; the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church; the King Center; the Visitor Center; and Historic Fire Station No. 6. Judy Forte, superintendent of the Historic “It will remain open until we prepare adSite, said visitors will only ditional studies for work to be done on the be able to tour the first Judy Forte upper level,” she said. floor of the two-story Queen Anne-style King, who grew up to lead the 1960s civil frame house. rights movement that fought for voting and
More than 30 homes and buildings around the birth home (left) are being preserved to enable visitors to see what Auburn Avenue looked like when King, right, and his family (above) lived there.
human rights for African-Americans, was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in an upstairs bedroom of the home at 501 Auburn Ave. He lived there until age 12 with his parents, Martin and Alberta Christine; his big
sister Christine King; his younger brother Alfred Daniel Williams King; and his grandparents. Please see HOME, page B11
IN THIS SECTION
Crusader against violence
It’s a day on...
Hope for the future
Father Michael Pfleger of Chicago will headline the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. B3
Volunteers across DeKalb and metro Atlanta will honor Dr. King by serving their communities on his national holiday. B8,B9
Children who volunteer to serve others at Hosea Helps’ annual King Day dinner warm the heart of CEO Elisabeth Omilami. B10
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“Unfortunately, we don’t have any updates. We are still waiting on the deposit to start production.”
King statue in limbo as sculptor awaits funds 2346 Candler Road Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007
The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Special Section is a publication of CrossRoadsNews, Atlanta’s award-winning weekly newspaper. Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker Graphics Editor Curtis Parker Reporter Jennifer Ffrench Parker Copy Editor Brenda Yarbrough Editorial Intern Rosie Manins CrossRoadsNews is published every Saturday by CrossRoadsNews, Inc. We welcome articles on neighborhood issues and news of local happenings. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor those of any advertisers. The concept, design and content of CrossRoadsNews are copyrighted and may not be copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without . the written permission of the publisher © 2017 CrossRoadsNews, Inc.
All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reprinted without written permission of the publisher.
By Rosie Manins
Six months after Georgia named Cherrylion Studios sculptor Martin Dawe for the King statue to be placed at the State Capitol, there has been no movement on the project. Cambria Russell Herrera, Cherrylion’s manager, said Jan. 4 that it could be some time before things get moving. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any updates,” she said. “We are still wait- Martin Dawe ing on the deposit to start production.” The project is expected to cost $100,000 to $300,000 in private donations. When completed, the bronze statue of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will occupy a prominent spot outside the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta. The 8-foot bronze statue will stand on the northeast corner of the Capitol, a short distance from Auburn Avenue where King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, where he grew up, and where Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was co-pastor with his father is located. Auburn Avenue is also the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which King co-founded, and the home of the King Center, established by his widow, the late Coretta Scott King, to carry on the work he started. Gov. Nathan Deal and Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) announced Dawe’s selection in August 2016. He was chosen after a nationwide selection process involving the Georgia Capitol Arts Standards Commission. Dawe replaced Andy Davis, the first sculptor, who was named in 2015 to create the statue.
Cities, nations with King sculptures n July 3, 1976: The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Dallas, Texas, dedicated its King statue as part of the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. n Jan. 16, 1986: A bronze bust of King by artist John Wilson unveiled in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda leading up to the first observance of the new national holiday honoring King. n 1989: A bronze life-size statue of King, in his doctorate clerical robe, by sculptor Abbe Godwin was installed in the King Memorial Gardens in Raleigh, N.C., the first public park in America solely dedicated to the memory of King and the historic civil rights movement. n 1994: A bust of King by Wilbur Lee Map was erected on the southeast corner of South Elm Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Greensboro, N.C. King was scheduled to speak at the AME Zion Church in Greensboro, a few blocks from the statue, on April 4, 1968. He canceled his visit to stay in Memphis, Tenn., where he was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. n July 1998: Westminster Abbey in London unveiled a statue of King by sculptor Tim Crawley. It stands above the west entrance to the abbey with nine other Christian martyrs of the 20th century. n Jan. 17, 2004: A bronze statue of King by Paul di Pasquale was unveiled in Hopewell, Va. It commemorates King’s historic civil rights visit to the Hopewell courthouse on March 29, 1962. n Jan. 15, 2009: Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in New York unveiled a statue of King in wax.
Davis was killed in a motorcycle accident in July 2015 after starting the work. At Dawe’s announcement, Deal called the memorial project “long overdue.” Smyre, who is working with the Georgia Capitol Arts Standards Commission, the Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Commission, and the King Estate, had hoped the statue’s unveiling would be in early 2017. Neither of them responded by press time Thursday to questions about the project’s status. Georgia is late with its statue. Around the country and the world, cities and nations have erected statues in honor of King.
Morehouse College, where King did his undergraduate studies, erected its own King statue in 1984. Civil rights leaders and a number of state representatives have fought for years for a public memorial honoring King in the city of his birth. House Bill 1080, or the King Monument Bill, which authorized the King memorial, was signed into law on April 29, 2014. Deal first announced plans to erect a statue on the Capitol grounds in 2015. Plans call for the statue to sit on a pedestal inscribed with quotes from King speeches and sermons on all four sides.
January 14, 2017
“He is a shining example of a true modern-day activist and social warrior.”
Chicago’s Father Pfleger to headline MLK service at Ebenezer By Rosie Manins
Father Michael Pfleger, who fought gang bloodshed in Chicago with basketball games, will headline the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service on Jan. 16 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran for president in 2016, will deliver a special tribute. The ecumenical service, which engages members of various religious traditions as well as state, national and international governments, is in its 32nd year. Bernie Sanders It commemorates what would have been King’s 88th birthday. It takes place annually on the national holiday created to honor King, in the church where he was baptized as a child, and where he served as co-pastor with his father. Pfleger, senior pastor of the Faith Community of Saint Sabina in Chicago, is a well-known warrior of responsible gun ownership, which has irked the National Rifle Association. He started a weekly basketball league in one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods and lured rival gang members to battle on the court instead of on the streets. “We need to talk it out rather than shoot it out,” Pfleger said in an August 2013 ABCTV interview. King Center CEO Bernice A. King said she is proud to host Pfleger as the keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony. “He is a shining example of a true modern-day activist and social warrior,” said King, who is the Dr. King’s daughter. Sanders, who challenged Hillary Clinton
Father Michael Pfleger, senior pastor of the Faith Community of Saint Sabina in Chicago, brought rival gangs together in a basketball league.
for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election by tapping into a populist frustration over the growing gap between the super wealthy and the rest of the country, campaigned on a platform of a political revolution to transform American politics. Other program participants include Sen.
Johnny Isakson, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Japanese Consul General Takashi Shinozuka, the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, actor Tyrese Gibson, and Royce Mann of the Paideia School. Special performances will be provided by
Darlene McCoy, Minister Micah Stampley, the Korean Christian Children’s Choir, the Craig Lewis Band, and tap dancers Freddie and Teddie. The service will be held in the Horizon Sanctuary at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 101 Jackson St. N.E., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.
INTELLIGENCE PLUS CHARACTER
- that is the goal of true education. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Equal Opportunity Institution
“We do it to keep his name, his legacy and what he did for black folks alive.”
Thousands to march in remembrance By Jennifer Ffrench Parker
Thousands of adults and children will be marching on Jan. 16 in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the ideals he stood for on the 32nd national holiday in his honor. King parades will take to the streets in Lithonia, Conyers, McDonough and the city of Atlanta. Families, individuals, elected officials, high school marching bands, and a host of civil rights, community, civic, social, fraternal, religious and other groups and organizations will march in memory of the late civil rights leader who fought for voting and human rights for African Americans. The DeKalb NAACP’s 15th annual parade and rally kicks off at noon from Green Pastures Christian Church on Flat Shoals Parkway with high school marching bands, elected officials, and dozens of groups and organizations. The parade will terminate at MLK Jr. High School for a rally. Retired NAACP President John Evans will be grand marshal. He said that it’s important to march in King’s honor every year. “We do it to keep his name, his legacy and what he did for black folks alive,” Evans said. “It’s important for that we remember what he did and be proud of it and appreciate it.” Marchers will gather at 10 a.m. in the church’s parking lot. They will make a right on Highway 155 where citizens can view the parade. In Rockdale County, organizers have relocated the county’s first King March from downtown Conyers to the county’s Government Annex at 1400 Parker Road. Josie Dean, CEO of the Rockdale County Think Tank, which is organizing the march, said they had to move it to the annex because the county could not find enough police officers to man
Jennifer Ffrench Parker / CrossRoadsNews
Metro Atlanta residents can view King Day parades in Lithonia, Conyers, McDonough and the city of Atlanta that honor the late civil rights leader.
the parade, even after they were willing to pay them. She said the city of Conyers said it will work with her in 2018 to stage the march in the city and assume all responsibilities for security. Thirteen groups, including fraternities; sororities; marching bands from Rockdale, Heritage and Salem high schools; the Rockdale County NAACP, and elected officials will march. Newly elected Rockdale Chairman Oz Nesbitt will be grand marshal. Dean said paraders will march a mile at the annex and end on the annex’s baseball field for a rally. In Henry County, newly elected Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo and District 2 County Commissioner Dee Clemmons will serve as a grand marshals for the county’s seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Peace March on Jan. 16. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Henry County Performing Arts Center
on Lemon Street in McDonough. Pattillo, who is Henry County’s first African-American district attorney, said it is an honor to be named co-grand marshal of the parade. “I am proud to be able to serve my community and honor Dr. King,” he said. Pattillo will ride in a convertible with Clemmons. Staff members of the District Attorney’s Office also will march. Its rally begins at 11 a.m. with the Rev. T.J. McBride, senior pastor of Tabernacle of Praise Church International, delivering the keynote address. In the city of Atlanta, marchers will gather at 1:15 p.m. at the intersection of Peachtree and Baker streets for the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commemorative March & Rally. It kicks off at 1:45 p.m. after the annual King Day Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Marchers will make a left on Auburn Avenue and head to the King Center for the rally.
Drum line to keep beat at King Day 5K run Runners in the King Day 5K Drum Run! Atlanta in Piedmont Park on Jan. 16 can register their school PTA, church or other organization to receive proceeds from the event. The music starts at 8 a.m., and the 5K lineup begins at 8:45. Diverse groups in the beloved community will gather to celebrate King Day in the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood with fellowship and fitness.
The 5K walk/run will take place entirely in Piedmont Park. The USATFcertified race course and Peachtree Road Race qualifier will be run on grass, road, gravel, wooden bridge and dirt paths through the park. There will be a 3.1 mile drum line along the course and a post-race party. Team Pearls for a Cause, the DeKalb County Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., which is collecting backpacks for elementary and middle
school students in DeKalb, is among race beneficiaries. To become an approved beneficiary, contact race director Chip Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-8891142. The park is at 400 Park Drive in Atlanta. To register, visit http://www.active.com/atlanta-ga/running/distancerunning-races/mlk-day-5k-drum-runatlanta-2017. For more information, visit http://mlkday5k.com.
Teen artists revisit civil rights issues at Alliance Teen artists of the Palefsky Collision Project have returned to create a special performance of “A Celebration in Search of an Assumption: The Artist’s Role in Wartime” on Jan. 15-16 for King Day at the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center. The project explores the issues and ideas that challenge their generation to
change the world. The original work was created in collaboration with Pearl Cleage, Alliance Mellon Playwright in Residence, and director Patrick McColery. It was inspired by the themes found in Walt Whitman’s poem, “Leaves of Grass,” as well as current civil rights issues. High school students reimagined their
AUC to discuss King’s 1967 book Atlanta University Center faculty members will facilitate a center-wide reading and discussion honoring the 50th anniversary of the publication of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 book “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community” on Jan. 31. The discussion and a King Collection open house will take place at 5 p.m. at the Virginia Lacy Jones Exhibition
January 14, 2017
Hall at the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library and include an overview of the collection and viewing of documents. “Where Do We Go From Here” was King’s analysis of the state of American race relations and the movement after a decade of civil rights struggles. The library is at 111 James P. Brawley Drive S.W. in Atlanta. For more information, call 470-639-0569.
original script through the lens of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of hope and peace amid civil unrest. The performances, which are free to attend, take place at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 15 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Rich Auditorium, Memorial Arts Building. To RSVP, visit http://alliancetheatre. org/content/current-project.
Celebrate the Dreamer On Jan. 16, the nation will observe the 32nd Martin Luther King Jr. Day with volunteer work, parades and speeches. The national holiday celebrates the 88th birthday of King, who was born on Jan. 15, 1929. The Baptist minister led the 1960s civil rights movement that opposed segregation and fought for voting and civil rights for African-Americans. King, who grew up on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, was assassinated at age 39 on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. Martin Luther King Day, observed the third Monday in January, was first cele-brated in 1986. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.
S.C. Confederate flag remover to be at Emory
Community organizer and artist Bree Newsome, who scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse to remove the Confederate flag after the mass slaying at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, is the speaker and presenter at the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observance on Jan. 17 at Emory University. The program, which begins at 4 p.m. in Winship Ballroom, third floor of the Dobbs University Center, is free and open to the public. Register at http://aas.emory.edu/home/events/index. htmlaas.emory.edu. During the funeral of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state legislator and one of nine people killed by white supremacist Dylann Roof on June 17, 2015, Newsome recognized the message being communicated by the U.S. flag and the S.C. state flag at half-staff while the Confederate flag continued to fly. She scaled the 30-foot flagpole in front of the Statehouse, declaring, “This flag comes down today!” Newsome was arrested and the flag was raised again at the Capitol. In July 2015, the Confederate flag was removed and relocated to a nearby state military museum.
Photo display depicts King’s remarkable life A small selection of photographs that document Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s remarkable life will be on display at the High Museum of Art on Jan. 15 to commemorate the civil rights leader’s 88th birthday. A three-hour celebration, which is free with museum admission, gets underway at 1 p.m. King came to prominence as a civil rights leader during the 1955–1956 bus boycotts in Montgomery, Ala. The next year, he moved back to Atlanta and became head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The High Museum’s civil rights photography collection features more than 250 photos of the struggle for freedom and equality and includes a number of photographs of King (1929–1968), popular representations of King delivering speeches and leading marches, but also a more personal side of the leader at home enjoying time with his family. For more information, visit www.high.org.
‘Conversation’ in King Lecture Series
“Where Do We Go From Here? An Intergenerational Conversation” will take place Jan. 25 at Morehouse College in Atlanta. The program in the Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture and Conversation Series begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Bank of America Auditorium, Walter E. Massey Leadership Center. Panelists are Martin Luther King III, Dr. King’s elder son; the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiri-
tual home of Dr. King; state Rep. Stacey Abrams, House minority leader in the Georgia General Assembly who represents District 89; and former Ambassador Andrew Young, a key confidant and strategist to Dr. King, a former mayor of Atlanta, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. The college is at 830 Westview Drive S.W. For more information, contact Dr. Vicki Crawford at email@example.com or 470-6390569.
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“Howey Hudson Lowe knows that it is small... but it is big enough to make a difference in the world”
Howey Hudson Lowe to feed homeless, recognize volunteers By Rosie Manins
In the spirit of “drum major” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the nonprofit Howey Hudson Lowe Foundation will feed and clothe the homeless in downtown Atlanta on Jan. 14, and on Jan. 28, it will honor the volunteers who help it serve the disadvantaged year-round. Brenda Jackson, one of the organization’s three founders, said volunteers will take its Operation Deep Freeze service project to Edgewood Avenue and Pine Street at 9 a.m. on Saturday to provide hot soup and winter clothing in honor of King’s legacy. She said they will stay there “until everything runs out.” On Jan. 28, the foundation will host its MLK “Drum Major for Service” Luncheon from noon to 3 p.m. at the Coaxum’s Low Country Cuisine in Conyers. Jackson said they will recognize 30 to 40 men and women who volunteer consistently with the group. “Most of these people have been with us for more than 13 years,” she said. The Decatur-based foundation serves families in need, primarily in South DeKalb. It provides basic living needs, counseling, referrals, employment coaching and toys. Most of its volunteers live in DeKalb, but some are also from Gwinnett and Rockdale counties. Jackson said volunteers – who range from teens to adults The nonprofit Howey Hudson in their 70s – collect, sort and store donations. Lowe Foundation “They also help to sell tickets for our annual fundraisers will feed and and do other things like website maintenance,” she said. clothe the The foundation, established in 2004 by Jackson, Norma homeless in Washington and Goldie Evans-Upshaw and later joined by Atlanta on Jan. Marian Maddox, has helped thousands of children and their 14, and honor families in its 13 years of existence. dedicated “I would say over 3,000 or more,” Jackson said. volunteers on In 2014, it received a Points of Lights Service Award, Jan. 28. which recognizes outstanding organizations and individuals for their commitment to serving others. Jackson says the group works hard to help people in need. “Howey Hudson Lowe knows that it is small and cannot save the world, but it is big enough in spirit and determination to be that drum major to definitely make a difference S.W. in Conyers. For more information and reservations, visit www. in the world,” she said. Volunteer luncheon tickets are $25 each. The reservation howeyhudsonlowefoundation.com or contact Brenda JackThe Coaxum’s Low Country Cuisine is at 1300 Iris Drive deadline is Jan. 20. son at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-403-8448.
National Park Service’s King Historic Site hosting special programs
The first floor of Families celebrating civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King’s birth home King Jr. will find a host of public events this year at the Nawill be open for tional Park Service’s King Historic Site that “deeply honors tours on Jan. 16 and serves his life and legacy.” for the first time Park Superintendent Judy Forte said the events will since the home include a volunteer day of service in the park, a tribute conwas closed for cert, storytelling by a King family member, and a collection repairs in August drive in partnership with Arndrea King, Yolanda Renee and 2016. Martin Luther King III that will benefit the Atlanta Homeless Women and Children Shelter at Solomon’s Temple and Hope-Hill Elementary School. Forte said it will a day on rather than a day off. Jan. 15 would have been King’s 88th birthday, and Jan. 16 is the 32nd anniversary of the national holiday that celebrates his legacy. historic site campus on Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. n On Jan. 15, King’s actual birthday, artists will pay tribute A list of events in the park in music, song, dance and spoken word. n About 200 volunteers have registered to participate in a The concert takes place 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the Yolanda D. variety of beautification and preservation projects on the King Theatre for the Performing Arts at the King Center’s
Events in civil ‘Go South to Freedom’ author at History Center rights movement Award-winning author Frye Gaillard will told through arts discuss his book, “Go South to Freedom,” and sign copies at the Atlanta History Center King Day program Jan. 16 starting at 3 p.m. The “as told to” story for middle-schoolers tells of a daring escape to freedom by the Fields family. It was shared with the author by the direct descendant of the family whose story he tells. Frye Gaillard Georgia slaves Gilbert Fields and his family ran away one stormy night, intending to travel north under cover of darkness, only to discover they had been running south instead. They had no choice but to keep going, seeking sanctuary with the Seminole Indians of Florida and later a community of free blacks in Mobile, Ala. The center is at 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W. in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.atlantahistorycenter.com/ programs/martin-luther-king-jr.-day.
Orator, civil rights activist and athlete Rashiid Shareef will be featured guest at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Jan. 25 at the Lou Walker Senior Center in Lithonia. “An Afternoon of Civil Rights Movement Events, Music, Drama, Dance and Poetry,” which is free and open to the public, begins at 2:30 p.m. The program, presented by the center’s Performing Arts Group, will include narratives, musical arrangements and choreography by Gwendolyn F. Thomas. The center is at 2538 Panola Road. For more information, visit http://louwalkercenter.com or call 770-322-2900.
Freedom Hall. n On Jan. 16, the federal King Holiday, special programs take place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. n The first floor of King’s birth home will be open to visitors for walk-through tours for the first time since it was closed for repairs in August 2016. n A “Children’s Corner,” located on Auburn Avenue near the birth home, will feature arts and crafts, a National Park Service photo booth, and the park’s junior ranger program. n Visitors also can step back in time to the mid-1950s to experience the era of the Montgomery bus boycott in a historic MARTA bus that will be on display. n Preservation exhibit stations highlighting the Park Service restoration efforts will be displayed on the porches of some historic buildings in the park. n Historic Fire Station No. 6, the Ebenezer Baptist Church Heritage Sanctuary and the park’s visitor center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/malu.
Judge Hatchett to speak at Ga. State celebration Judge Glenda Hatchett will be the featured speaker at Georgia State University’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Jan. 19. Her talk begins at 4 p.m. in Student Center East, Student Center Ballroom, 55 Gilmer St. Hatchett, the first African American chief presiding judge of Fulton County Juvenile Court, is nationally recognized as an authority on juvenile and social issues and an outspoken advocate for children. She is the national spokeswoman for Court Appointed Special Advocates, a program that works toward representing abused or neglected children in the court. A recipient of the NAACP Thurgood Marshall Glenda Hatchett Award, Hatchett founded the Truancy Intervention Project, which enlists the help of legal volunteers to provide early intervention with truants. She is founding partner of the Hatchett Firm. For more information, visit www.gsu.edu.
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“King was a great man. I don’t know a time when he took a day off and we should continue his legacy.” The nonprofit MedShare International in Decatur needs volunteers yearround to sort and package medical supplies that will be shipped to underserved countries.
Hundreds expected at MedShare By Rosie Manins
More than 300 volunteers will be sorting and packing medical supplies at the nonprofit MedShare International in Decatur that will be shipped to underserved countries around the world. The men and women from 14 churches, businesses, corporations, community groups, and institutions will be donating their time over Jan. 14-16 King weekend. Alvaro McRae, MedShare volunteer program manager, said the groups are coming from all over the community, including from schools and universities. “They will be sorting the medical supplies and equipment we get donated and we’ll be packing up as many boxes of it as we can,” McRae said. MedShare, which collects and redistributes surplus medical supplies and equipment to clinics in Third World countries, including Africa, works with hospitals, health care distributors and manufacturers around the country. To date, it has collected more than
$100 million worth of medical supplies and equipment and, in the process, diverted more than 3 million cubic feet of reusable products from local landfills. More than 40 Kaiser Permanente staff, friends and family members will be among volunteers on Jan. 16. This is the third time the managed-care provider has mobilized employees to participate in King volunteer projects at MedShare. Last year, Kaiser employees also volunteered at Lou Walker Senior Center in Lithonia, where they cleaned, painted and did minor repairs. Across the globe, the World Health Organization says that millions of children 5 years and younger die annually from inadequate medical care. In the United States, hospitals generate more than 2 million tons of medical waste annually, the majority of which is new, unexpired medical supplies and equipment. The nonprofit needs volunteers yearround to sort and package medical supplies. For more information, visit www. medshare.org or call 770-323-5858.
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A Day On, N
‘Say that I tried to love and serve humanity’ “If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize – that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards – that’s not important. Tell them not to Martin Luther King Jr. mention where I went to school. I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Feb. 4, 1968, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta
Volunteers to work on seniors’ homes By Rosie Manins
More than 1,000 volunteers will repair, weatherize and do maintenance on the homes of dozens of elderly Oakhurst community residents over the three-day King Weekend. The 15th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project begins 9 a.m. on Jan. 14 and ends at 5 p.m. on Jan. 16. It is sponsored by the nonprofit Decatur Preservation Alliance in partnership with the city of Decatur and is supported through grants and private financial and in-kind donations. Volunteers 12 years and older are needed. Those younger than 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and submit a signed release available at www.decaturga. com/mlk. Organizers are seeking skilled trades peo-
ple, especially roofers, plumbers, electricians and carpenters, to volunteer and bring their tools – hammers, saws, drills, rakes, clippers and other yard work implements – and reusable water bottles to make the project more environmentally friendly. Donations of sandwiches and homemade desserts are needed to feed participants. Volunteers can sign up for one or more shifts from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Monday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Volunteers must meet at the Solarium at the Community Center of South Decatur, 321 W. Hill St. in Oakhurst, at least 30 minutes before their shifts start. The project culminates at 5 p.m. on Jan. 16 with a cookout in the Solarium. To volunteer or donate, contact Lee Ann Harvey at email@example.com or 770-652-8593. First Afrikan Presbyterian members will clean the Lithonia church inside and out on Jan. 16. They also will plant bulbs for the spring.
Members to clean up church grounds First Afrikan Presbyterian Church in Lithonia will get cleaned inside and out on Jan. 16. During the King Day service project, members, friends and supporters will clean the church’s sanctuary, restrooms, kitchen, community rooms, and grounds. They also will pressure wash the building, paint rails, repair the sidewalks and the ramp, and work on the ancestral trails and serenity garden. Volunteers will work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A communal feast will be served after the completion of the work. Elder Lucius Gundy said the church does a lot for the community and this is an opportunity for residents to give back. “We will be doing a lot of work in and around the church itself. We will be planting
bulbs for the springtime and we have an individual coming to talk to us about fruit trees we will be planting in February,” he said. Gundy is expecting up to 45 people to volunteer and would love for others to join in. “King was a great man,” he said. “I don’t know a time when he took a day off and we should continue his legacy. We would certainly like to see the community coming together with not only this effort, but efforts of their own on this day.” This is the second annual King Day service project run by the church, which is located at 5197 Salem Road. To participate or for more information, visit www.firstafrikanchurch.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Gundy at 404-735-7626.
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A Day Off
“It’s important that we use our hands, heart and head to help others.”
Greenforest members taking on 13 King Day service projects By Rosie Manins
Some 400 Greenforest Community Baptist Church members will honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy Jan. 14-16 with volunteer labor at the Decatur church and throughout the community. The volunteers will work on 13 service projects that include cleaning up and beautifying church buildings and grounds; sponsoring a canned food drive; visiting the sick and shut-ins and residents of the Sadie G. Mays Nursing & Convalescent Home; responding to prayer requests; sprucing up the homes of seniors; and visiting children at the Clarkston international refugee center. Dr. Emory Berry Jr., the church’s senior pastor, said the ministry aims to make a positive impact throughout the wider community. “By the end of the day, we will touch a good portion of DeKalb County,” he said Jan. 11. To honor King, who wanted to be remembered as someone who “tried to love and serve humanity,” Berry said it is important to make King Day a day on rather than a day off. “It’s important that we use our hands, heart and head to help others,” he said. Throughout the three-day weekend, church volunteers will contact and spend time with the congregation’s aging members and others confined to their homes or in need of domestic help. They will rake leaves, clean gutters, wash windows, change light bulbs, assist with laundry, move furniture and prepare meals. Volunteers also are collecting hundreds of canned goods to replenish the church’s Social Ministry pantry, which provides food and clothing to disadvantaged families and individuals year-round. On Monday, Jan. 16 – the national King holiday – groups of volunteers will visit nursing homes in the neighborhood and in Atlanta to bring cheer to residents. Some will
Outdoor work at Panola Mountain Volunteers can help spruce up Panola Mountain State Park in MLK Jr. Day of Service projects on Jan. 16. Participants ages 6 and up are needed to help remove invasive plant species and do landscape improvement and roadside cleanup at the park in Henry County. They should come prepared to work and to make new friends during the projects, which begin at 10 a.m. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes, and bring water and work gloves. Advance registration is required by calling the Nature Center at 770-389-7801. The park is at 2620 Highway 155 S.W. in Stockbridge. For more information, including fees, visit http://gastateparks.org/PanolaMountain.
Morehouse students fanning out to serve Morehouse College students will fan out in metro Atlanta to participate in the Bonner Day of Service on Jan. 16 for King Day. Volunteers will take part in community service projects throughout the area with the kickoff at 8 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on campus, 830 Westview Drive S.W. in Atlanta. The Bonner Office of Community Service at Morehouse seeks to utilize its resources to develop and encourage volunteerism and to perpetuate a culture of service. For more information, contact Monty Whitney at monty. email@example.com.
buried and where his parents, Martin and Alberta Christine, are laid to rest alongside other prominent black leaders. Others will clean and organize rooms and cook food for occupants of the Covenant House boarding facility for homeless youth in Decatur. A team also will visit the women’s metro correctional facility where they will pray, sing and study Scripture with inmates. On Monday, the church’s children will write prayer cards for policemen and policewomen at the South DeKalb Precinct and deliver it to them. They also will tour the precinct and sing for the officers. Husband-and-wife team Ron and June Coleman, who have co-led the church’s Mission Ministry and organized the church’s annual King Day service projects, said church members are always eager to serve. “Our congregation is more than willing,” Ron Coleman said. Greenforest senior pastor Dr. Emory Berry, Jr., and Mission Ministry co-leaders Ron and June After doing the work, he said members Coleman hold signs for King Day Service projects that church members will do Jan. 14 to 16. discuss their experiences. “Most of the time they feel they are more clean and make repairs to buildings on the legacy, sing songs, and share peanut butter blessed by it than the people they went out and jelly sandwiches. church’s Rainbow Drive campus. to serve,” Coleman said, Volunteers also will plant trees at SouthAt the international refugee center in To volunteer, visit www.greenforest.org Clarkston, they will discuss King’s life and View Cemetery, where King was temporarily or call the church at 404-486-1120.
January 14, 2017
“Hosea Williams gave his life to DeKalb. He was a commissioner and he lived his whole life here.”
6,000 people expected at Hosea Helps’ King Day dinner By Rosie Manins
Warm meals and many helpful services will be provided by the nonprofit Hosea Helps to thousands of Atlantans in need in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy on the federal holiday in his name. The group expects to feed 6,000 people on Jan. 16 at its 14th annual MLK dinner taking place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. This year’s theme is “Unity in the Community.” Elisabeth Omilami, the group’s CEO, said the dinner will surpass its Thanksgiving meal to become its largest annual dinner. She said the event continues to spread the love that was in King’s heart. She describes Hosea Helps’ King Day offerings as “a festival of services.” “Sometimes the line for barbers and beauticians or clothing is longer than the line for food,” she said. “There’s a medical clinic, hot showers and a children’s corner, and we deliver over 4,000 meals to the sick and shut-in.” Omilami, who is the daughter of Hosea Williams, a King lieutenant who worked alongside the famous civil rights leader during the 1960s civil rights movement, said their King Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas events cost about $125,000 each to put on. Renting the World Congress Center is about $20,000 alone, she said. Delta Air Lines is the King Day dinner’s title sponsor for the second consecutive year. Coca-Cola also has donated funds to assist. In addition to hundreds of Delta employees, more than 1,000 volunteers will help to staff the event. Omilami said Hosea Helps is blessed to
The Hosea Helps King Day dinner takes place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. The event includes “a festival of services.”
not depend on governmental support thanks to strong buy-in from the community. “Of course we get some small contributions,” she said. “It’s the working people who know that but for the grace of God that could be them and their families needing help. For many of the working poor, if they miss just one paycheck they could be homeless.” Omilami said Hosea Helps serves about 900 DeKalb residents every year and the organization is committed to the county. “Hosea Williams gave his life to DeKalb,” she said. “He was a commissioner and he lived his whole life here, and we would like to do more here.” At the King Day dinner, a full-course meal will be served. Other Hosea Helps
services will be offered, including a haircut and style; medical care; flu shots; legal aid; federal benefit analysis; employment advice and assistance; and applications for SNAP, Medicare, WIC, Medicaid and more. Clothing, shoes and blankets will be given out, and there will be activities for children. Volunteers also will deliver meals and services to seniors, sick residents and others unable to leave their homes. Organizers still need 300 volunteers and are seeking the donation of a shower trailer, a forklift and four pallet jacks. Omilami said the best part of the annual event for her is watching children volunteers serve other children. “Being able to see children who give
another child a sandwich or make another child a plate of food or give another child a set of clothing, and to know that the transition is going to happen. That’s what’s most important for me right now, that we don’t let this die because it’s a legacy that’s needed,” she said. “More than ever we cannot give up the hope that civil rights leaders had that everybody will have equal opportunity and equal rights.” The dinner takes place in Building A of the Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. N.W, in Atlanta. To donate and volunteer, visit www.4hosea.org or call the organization at 404-755-3353.
Olympic gold medalist Melvin Pender to headline Brookhaven event By Rosie Manins
The courage of Lynwood Park’s pioneering black students who integrated DeKalb County Schools 50 years ago will be recognized at Brookhaven’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day dinner and program on Jan. 16. Olympic gold medalist, author and Lynwood Park alumnus Melvin Pender will deliver the keynote address at the second annual community dinner and program at the historic Lynwood Community Center. It starts at 5 p.m. in the old segregated elementary and high school building at 3360 Osborne Road. The 79-year-old Pender, who won gold in the 4x100 meter relay in the 1968 Summer Games, will be joined by other presenters, including business leader Mac Broughton, who serves on the Brookhaven Affordable Housing Task Force; Lynwood native Edgar Jones, a retired engineer and unofficial Lynwood Park historian; and Edna White, who served as secretary to the principal at Lynwood Elementary School. Comedian George Wallace also grew up in Lynwood Park. Jones, 71, was born and raised in Lynwood Park when it was a newly settled, closeknit, all-black neighborhood. His parents moved to a house in Osborne Road in 1939, where his brother still lives today. Jones has been researching and documenting Lynwood Park’s history for more than a decade and plans to present his indepth knowledge to guests at the dinner. “My objective is to enlighten them on the early history,” he said. “I’m going to go back to when people first moved there and talk about where they actually came from.” Lynwood Park is DeKalb’s oldest black neighborhood and is located off Peachtree Road in Brookhaven. It dates back to 1933 when the first black family moved into the Cates Estate, later renamed Lynwood Park, after Realtor Mel Lynn.
streets were dirt roads. The thing that really kept the neighborhood together was our four churches and our schools.” At last year’s dinner, the city of Brookhaven presented a proclamation to the Lynwood Integrators and facilitated a discussion about their experiences. The Black History event was started by Brookhaven’s District 1 Councilwoman Linley Jones, who represents the Lynwood community. Barbara Shaw, who went to the all-white Cross Keys High in the eighth grade in 1967 and remembers the prejudice she and other black students faced at the time from
white teachers, bus drivers and classmates, helped organize the event. Councilwoman Jones said members of the public are welcome to attend the dinner. “This is a special and unique event honoring the true spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day by recognizing those trailblazers in our community who participated directly in integration,” she said. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from the Lynwood Community Center at 3360 Osborne Road or by calling 404-6370534.
Don’t let anything stand in your way Melvin Pender will be the keynote speaker at Brookhaven’s King Day event on Jan. 16.
The King Day event recognizes students from the all-black Lynwood Park elementary and high school who integrated DeKalb County Schools in 1967. It was held for the first time during the 2016 King Day observances. The men and women – called the Lynwood Integrators – were the first black students to attend Cross Keys and Chamblee high schools, 13 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that racial segregation of public schools was illegal. DeKalb Schools shuttered the Lynwood Park schools in 1969, seven years after Jones graduated. Jones said he is proud of the community and its pivotal role in integration. He remembers when there was “little to no crime” and no homeless people in the area. “It was a close-knit neighborhood where everybody knew each other,” he recalled Jan. 10. “Back in the 1940s, only Osborne Road and Lynwood Drive were paved, all the other
In the spirit of greatness, we salute those who refuse to let adversity deter them from their dreams.
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January 14, 2017
“We are excited that a full condition assessment … is scheduled so we can ensure the preservation of this national treasure.”
Old Fourth Ward was a bustling hub of middle-class black life HOME,
The house, built for a white family in 1895, became the Kings’ family home in 1909 when King’s grandfather, the Rev. Adam Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, bought it for $3,500. Williams died of a heart attack in the home on March 21, 1931. The family lived there until 1941, when the King family moved to another home within the Sweet Auburn district at 193 Blvd. Sweet Auburn, where the home is located, is part of the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, which was a bustling hub of middleclass black life when King was growing up. The King family maintained ownership of the birth home at 501 Auburn Ave., converting it into two rental units. In the 1960s, King’s younger brother lived on the upper floor while he was a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. After Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, the family began plans to restore the house as a historic museum. It was designated a National Historic Site by Congress in 1980 and was restored to the way it was when King lived there. The birth home, and more than 30 homes and buildings around it, are among 9,600 historic buildings managed by the National Park Service at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. The preservation of the buildings, which are used by park staff and rented to tenants and to a barbershop, enables visitors to see what the street looked like when King lived there. The Park Service closed the home to visitors on Aug. 6, 2016, when a crack – causing the first floor to sag – was discovered in the subfloor of the house. It said at the time that it was temporarily closing the home and suspending tours “for safety reasons as preserving the home and protecting visitors are our primary responsibilities.” After a thorough assessment, Forte said it was decided that the entire floor was in danger of structural failure and that a comprehensive assessment of other repairs is underway. “We are excited that a full condition assessment of the entire home is scheduled so that we can ensure the preservation and
Touring the birth home
Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Visiting the home where Dr. King was born and lived until he was 12 years old is one of the highlights of a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site, but it can be one of the hardest things to do because only 15 people at a time can tour the home. The 30-minute tour, which is free, is almost always led by a ranger – except on the King holiday. On the third Monday of January when the federal holiday honoring King takes place, visitors can show up and see the house on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
protection of this national treasure for future generations,” Forte said. She said the full extent of damage and cost of repairs is not yet known. “As soon as we get an assessment done we will know, depending on how soon we can get the funding to do the work. We don’t anticipate having to close very long, but having it closed as long as it takes to get it done right,” she said. While the birth home is being repaired, the National Park Service is offering visitors
The King birth home was designated a National Historic Site by Congress in 1980 and was restored to the way it was when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived there.
Other attractions in the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site include Dr. and Mrs. King’s crypts, the reflection pool, the King Center, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Freedom Hall, the eternal flame, the Visitor Center, and Historic Fire Station No. 6. The park is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Tips on visiting the birth home: n Visit early in the day. n Be prepared to wait several hours for the next available tour. n Visit early in the week or Sunday morning. Source: National Park Service
other opportunities within the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site to learn about King’s early life. A virtual ranger-led presentation of the birth home is available to guide visitors through the period of King’s childhood in the Sweet Auburn community where he was born and raised. Visitors also can view large photographs of the home’s interior at the Eastern National Museum Store at 497 Auburn Ave., view outdoor exhibits along the block where the
birth home is located to learn more about the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, and watch a 20-minute film, “The Birth Home Story,” at the Visitor Center. To view a full list of daily interpretive activities, visitors are encouraged to stop at the Park Service Visitor Center at 450 Auburn Ave. For more information on the King birth home and the other buildings associated with King in the Sweet Auburn district, visit www. nps.gov/malu.
By the numbers
The price King’s grandfather paid for the house where he was born
The year the Rev. Adam Daniel Williams acquired the house
Martin Luther King Jr.’s age when the family moved from the birth home
The Auburn Avenue address where Dr. King was born
The year that the King birth home was built
Year that Congress designated the home as a National Historic Site
Celebrating the Dreamer! We must face our challenges today with the same strength, persistence, and resolve as Dr. King, guided by the enduring values of hope & justice embodied by our civil rights leaders – like C.T. Vivian, Dr. Joseph Lowery and my friend & colleague Congressman John Lewis. 8dc\gZhhbVc=ZcgnÆ=Vc`Ç?d]chdc )i]8dc\gZhh^dcVa9^hig^Xi Paid for by the Committee to Re-elect Henry “Hank” Johnson
January 14, 2017