2019-01-09 / Front Page

MLK celebrations begin Saturday


If he were still here today, he’d be celebrating his 90th birthday. But the citizens of Burke County are keeping his legacy alive, and celebrations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life will begin this Saturday and continue over the next week.

For the first time ever, the Burke County Improvement Association and Burke Black Churches Benevolent Association have joined together to present a legacy banquet in honor of the civil rights activist who was killed fighting his cause. According to event organizers, the event, which sold out in a matter of days, will feature Atlanta attorney and Waynesboro native Betty Ann Childers Heart as guest speaker and consists of a semiformal, sit down meal.

The annual parade, also co-sponsored by the two groups, will take place the following Saturday, Jan. 19, with the theme “Dream the Impossible Dream.” The march/parade will start along Brentwood Drive at 1 p.m. and will continue down North Liberty Street to Pauline Jenkins Street (West Ninth Street), then MLK Drive and will culminate at CSRA EOA Burke County Head Start Center, located on College Street. A program at the Head Start Center will immediately follow, and refreshments will be served.

Organizers will accept entries through Friday, Jan. 11. Contact Jackie Payton at 706.437.1758. For refreshment donations contact Luberda Jenkins at 706.871.5090 or Benjamin Dorsett at 706.513.9696.

The Burke County Sapphirettes will continue their traditional Freedom School again this year, marking its 33rd year locally. Toni Searles, who serves as a Sapphirette, says this year’s theme is “The Way We Were: Freedom Summer 1964” and offers a glimpse back in time and will hopefully spark interest in the hearts of a new generation. “We want to keep the life and times of Dr. King alive,” she said, “and to give the public, especially students, information that helps them understand why we celebrate this holiday.”

Freedom School 2019 will be held Monday, Jan. 15, at the old Blakeney School, located at 518 College St., in Waynesboro, from 10 a.m. to noon. It is free and open to children aged 5-17 as well as adults.

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