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CANCELED: MLK Day celebration at St. Frederick’s

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. (center, front) during the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech, calling for an end to racism. Photo from U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

UPDATE: The Jan. 15 Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at St. Frederick Baptist Church of Marble Falls has been canceled due to bad weather.

PREVIOUS STORY: Honor the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, at St. Frederick Baptist Church, 301 Avenue N in Marble Falls. The free public event includes a museum exhibit of King’s legacy, similar to what will be featured in the Black History Museum now under construction on church grounds. 

“We can give visitors a tour of what the museum is going to be like,” said event organizer Bessie Jackson. “We are also accepting donations for the museum construction.”

The museum is being built piece by piece as money is raised. Its foundation should be poured before the Jan. 15 event. 

The MLK Day program starts at 10:30 a.m. and includes three speakers, all members of St. Frederick’s. 

Renee Foelsing will speak on the life of King, who was born on Jan. 15, 1929, and assassinated on April 4, 1968. Since 1983, the third Monday in January has been a federal holiday in King’s honor. All 50 states followed suit by 2000. This is one of the few years that King’s birthday and the third Monday have fallen on the same day.

D’Anthony Wall will talk about King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. The iconic speech became a defining moment in the civil rights movement.

The third presentation, by Jose Moncivais, centers on King’s assassination. The Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was in Memphis, Tennessee, to support a sanitation workers’ strike. He was standing on a second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel when he was shot and killed.

The Jan. 15 event begins with music at 10 a.m. Singing will continue throughout the program and feature songs from the civil rights movement, including “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a spiritual that has become known as the “Black National Anthem.”

Jackson will give her own presentation on the history of that song, originally a poem written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson, founder of the NAACP. Johnson’s brother John Rosamond Johnson set the piece to music. 

A free lunch of burgers, chips, and water will follow.

suzanne@thepicayune.com