THIS YEAR marks the 90th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., legendary civil rights icon.
Honor his life and legacy with various events around our area.
First up is the TybeeMLK Parade and Human Rights Celebration, taking place Saturday, Jan. 12.
“It’s a labor of love for the city and for businesses,” says Julia Pearce, organizer of the Tybee celebration. “We’re always a week ahead of the one in Savannah, but we’re in conjunction with them—we use a lot of resources from the Savannah observance.”
- Scenes from last year’s TybeeMLK celebration.
Tybee’s parade festivities begin with a parade at 2 p.m. The parade begins at the 14th Street Parking Lot and goes ten blocks. The Grand Marshal this year is Dr. Ann Levett, superintendent of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
“The parade is just the hook,” explains Pearce. “What we’re really doing is having a human rights program and celebration. We invite the beloved community; we believe that to be people who live in the community, all communities coming together to celebrate this great man.”
The TybeeMLK committee also annually awards a Dreamer Humanitarian Award, and this year the award goes to James Eldo Hartz.
Hartz owns the historic Carbo House, which provides long-term affordable housing on the island.
Pearce notes that everyone will be represented at the celebration, notably a speaker from the mosque.
“We think it’s important, especially in the climate we have today,” says Pearce. “Dr. King was about bringing people together. Our theme this year is Dr. King’s quote, ‘We are interrelated in a single garment of destiny.’ We are! We are one race, one world, one God—all this division is not good for us.”
TybeeMLK also hosted an essay contest for students, and the winners, Camilla Burg and Ann Nguyen from Islands High School, will be honored.
- Last year’s festivities at TybeeMLK, including the winners of the essay contest.
That’s just the beginning of our area’s festivities. The following Saturday, Jan. 19, the city of Richmond Hill hosts its first ever Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Parade and Celebration.
Partnering with Unity in the Community, the parade is led by Rep. Carl Gillard and begins at 10 a.m. at Richmond Hill Primary School.
After the parade, head to J.F. Gregory Park for a celebration with entertainment, vendors, and speaking appearances by Congressman Buddy Carter and Rev. Thurmond N. Tillman.
Prior to Savannah’s parade, participate in the Citywide Memorial Worship Service. Led by Rev. David F. Richards III of the New Hope AME Church in Atlanta, the service takes place at the Second African Baptist Church at 5 p.m. and is open to all.
Savannah’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Parade takes place Monday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.
This year’s theme is “Dream the Dream...Transforming Hearts, Minds and the World,” chosen by eighth grade student Katlin A. Brown from Memorial Day School.
The parade begins at the intersection of East Broad and Liberty streets, and this year’s parade marshals will be Rosabel P. Dixon and David F. Richards.
After the parade, Huxsie Scott will perform with the Savannah State Concert Choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 2 p.m.