Photo by Curt Yeomans
The National Archives at Atlanta’s collection in Morrow includes several photographs depicting the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (second from right).
A bevy of events is expected to take place in Clayton County over the next week, as residents take time to observe the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Holiday.
The official holiday is Monday, but events designed to commemorate the occasion will begin as early as Saturday, and will run throughout the week. Some of the announced events range from prayer services, to the county’s annual MLK parade, to a film festival at the National Archives at Atlanta.
“Dr. King gave his life for freedom, and he stood for social equality and social justice,” said State Sen. Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro). The senator is co-hosting King-related events this weekend, with the Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County. “The world is a better place because he lived in it ... So, it’s important that we continue to celebrate his life and legacy.”
There are at least eight announced Martin Luther King, Jr.-related events scheduled to take place over the next week, with celebrations spread out across the county, from Forest Park, to Morrow, to Jonesboro.
The first will be the 21st Annual Clayton County Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayer Breakfast, on Saturday morning, at the Morrow-based National Archives at Atlanta. The event is sponsored by Davenport and the Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County.
The next day, Davenport and the coalition will host the 27th Annual Clayton County Ecumenical Service, at Dixon Grove Baptist Church, in Jonesboro.
Another key event is the Elijah Masonic Lodge No. 309/Electra Special No. 109 Eastern Star’s 12th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Parade. This year will mark the first time, since 2009, that the parade has been held back in its original location, in Jonesboro. It begin at noon, on Monday.
Parade organizer, Herman Turner, said at least 80 marching bands, as well as churches, community groups and elected officials are expected to participate in this year’s parade.
Upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events include:
• The Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County’s 21st Annual Clayton County Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayer Breakfast, on Saturday, at 8 a.m., at the National Archives at Atlanta, 5780 Jonesboro Road, in Morrow. U.S. Rep. John Lewis is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. Breakfast costs $17 for adults and $8.50 for children under 12. Contact State Sen. Gail Davenport, at (678) 215-9971.
• The Concerned Black Citizens Coalition of Clayton County’s 27th Annual Clayton County Ecumenical Service, on Sunday, at 3 p.m., at Dixon Grove Baptist Church, located at 7690 Fielder Road, in Jonesboro. Dr. Raphael Warnock, the pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church is expected to be the featured speaker. Contact Davenport for more information. It is free to attend.
• The Jonesboro-based Elijah Masonic Lodge No. 309/Electra Special No. 109 Eastern Star is scheduled to hold its 12th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade on Monday, beginning at noon, in Jonesboro. The parade is expected to begin at the corner of Government Circle, and McDonough Street. It will make its way down McDonough Street, to Johnson Street, where it will cross the Norfolk Southern Rail Line, onto North Main Street, and travel down Main Street, to College Street. The parade is set to begin lining up at 10 a.m. Call Herman Turner at (770) 997-3393 for more information.
• Georgia Power employees and volunteers are scheduled to spend Monday performing a community service project at Clayton County Family Care, located at 1000 Main Street, in Forest Park, in observance of the MLK holiday. Volunteers will clean the interior and exterior of the building, and do some painting, repair and yard beautification work at the facility. Call (404) 506-7676, for more information.
• The Clayton State University Department of Campus Life is scheduled to partner with the school’s Diversity Education Experiences for Peers Educators group, and its AmeriCorps chapter, to sponsor a Martin Luther King, Jr., Rally, on Tuesday, from 2:15 p.m., to 3:15 p.m., at Forest Park High School, located at 5452 Phillips Drive, in Forest Park, to teach students about King’s life and vision. It is free to attend.
• Clayton State University is scheduled to host a “His Dream, Your Vision” Martin Luther King, Jr., Showcase, on Wednesday, from 6:30 p.m., to 8:30 p.m., in Spivey Hall, on the school’s main campus in Morrow. Clayton State Students will express their interpretations of King’s vision through songs, dances and poetry. It is free to attend.
• Clayton State University’s AmeriCorps’ chapter is expected to host a viewing of “The Human Experience,” on Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m., in the school’s Student Activities Center, Ballroom “C,” on the school’s main Morrow campus. The film focuses on the lives of homeless people, orphans and lepers. It is free to attend.
• The National Archives at Atlanta is scheduled to host a Martin Luther King, Jr., Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 21, beginning at 2 p.m., at the archives, located at 5780 Jonesboro Road, in Morrow. It is free to attend.