Sarasota County honors Martin Luther King Jr.

As we look back on the history of our great nation, as well as that of our communities, it is important that we recognize this month on our day off a very important holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year MLK Day is celebrated on Jan. 20, and our day off from school serves as a day of remembrance and recognition for all the influential civil rights leader Martin Luther King has done for America. As a new decade begins, we shall seek to celebrate the legacy of acceptance, equality and civil liberty MLK has left with us.

Here in Sarasota we wish to celebrate this national holiday through various events of history, entertainment and service. A unique performance will take place on Jan. 20 from 7:30-9 p.m., when the Westcoast Black Theatre troupe presents “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrating His Legacy in Spoken Word and Song” at Booker High School’s VPA Theater. The program will include excerpts from the King speeches and writings by Rev. Charles McKenzie, as well as singing and dancing by troupe members. Members of the Stage of Discovery summer youth program will also perform. With this performance the

troupe hopes to commemorate MLK’s legacy, as it is a significant and necessary celebration, this year being the fiftieth anniversary of his passing. Tickets are $10 for reserved seating.

Another wonderful commemorative event held in town is the Annual Sarasota MLK Day Celebration, presented by the MLK Celebration Committee, partnered with the Sarasota-Manatee and Temple Eman-El, featuring a memorial breakfast, a 1-mile walk, and a party in the park, all including excellent entertainment acts of singers and speakers. The $20 proceeds will benefit the Celebration Committee’s College Scholarship fund.

Along with celebratory ceremonies, the State College of Florida will be sponsoring their Annual MLK Day of Service, in an effort to transform the federal holiday into a day of community service, continuing to honor the King’s legacy by making a real difference. Through this initiative, SCF has been able to award 25 service grants, totaling $146,000, to various projects within Sarasota and Manatee counties.

With these community celebrations in mind, this year on Jan. 20, enjoy your day off from school, but also, take the time to remember what this day means to our nation and the impact Martin Luther King’s legacy has left us with today.

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© 2019 Bek Ficze 21'