Big Turnout For MLK Jr. Community Celebration

The annual Manhattan MLK Jr. Community Celebration held Saturday night at Flint Hills Christian School, was a big hit.

“Everybody was on one accord. It was a very cohesive atmosphere and it couldn’t be any better than this, I’m totally excited. We had more tonight than we’ve had in a long, long time.” said Rev Jim Spencer, founder and chairman of the MLK Memorial Committee.

The night began with a community meal provided by the Kappa Pi and MU Eta Omega chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, one of the oldest greek-letter organizations established in 1908 at Howard University.

This year’s traditional service included a youth celebration, highlighted by the MLK Jr. Art and Writing Contest. Several of the young authors and artists who contributed to the contest, shared their creative works with the audience. The contest is organized and sponsored by the Manhattan Public Library; and this year’s theme is “Live Together as Brothers and Sisters” taken from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

“Dr. King’s message of peace and brotherhood is really one that very young kids can understand, and they’re very passionate about it actually, the ones who enter our contest.” said Keri Mills, chair of the MLK Jr. Art and Writing Contest.

Winning entries will be recognized at Manhattan Town Center Mall during Martin Luther King Day activities, and are now on display at Manhattan Public Library.

Saturday’s celebration also featured a speech from Dr. George DeBose from Kansas City and a brief recognition of the 2014 “Spirit of Martin Luther King Community Service Award” recipients.

Larry Hackney and the Reverend L.E. and Queen E. Madison received the award for their service in “uniting the diversity of our community for the greater good, with a long-term commitment to the community and a history of bringing people together in a non-polarizing manner.”

An awards ceremony will begin at 11:45 a.m. on Monday, January 20, at Manhattan Town Center as part of the MLK Holiday Community Celebration.

While celebrating Dr. King’s legacy Monday, take a moment to consider a few of his most powerful words. “As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”