Martin Luther King Jr. Day events grow in scope
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
1/16/13 at 4:01 AM
The commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day is no longer just about celebrating and remembering the civil rights leader's fight against discrimination of black Americans, but it's become a symbol to all races and ethnicities, local event organizers said.
"America has become a more diverse nation. We see people from all cultures in the parade. There's no color line anymore," said Fred Jones, a board member of Tulsa's Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Society and chairman of this year's MLK Jr. parade.
"Martin Luther King is about the hue-man race, H-U-E. We're just trying to continue that celebration," Jones said.
The parade, which will have more than 150 entries, is the headlining event, but is just one aspect of the weekend that honors King and his ideals.
The annual youth forum, with high school students dissecting and discussing different aspects of race and diversity, takes place Friday at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. That night the winners of the youth speech, essay, art and oratorical contests are announced, as well as the Keeping the Dream Alive honoree.
On Saturday there's a presentation of the play "Two Cousins Walking Through Faith," written by Mary Scott Hicks, a cousin of Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow.
The Walk in Peace march will be Sunday evening, commemorating King's civil rights marches, to Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, the host of this year's Interfaith Commemoration Service.
"The march is an eye-opener," Jones said. "You take yourself back to the early '60s. In that mindset it makes you appreciate Martin Luther King even more."
The largest event is Monday's parade, with about 3,000 people expected to participate and thousands more lining the streets to watch.
Regina Tisdale, the wife of the late Wayman Tisdale Sr., is this year's grand marshal.
"I look forward to the parade. It's a huge celebration," Jones said.
Unlike previous years, this year's parade won't be televised because President Barack Obama's inauguration is that same day, but Jones said he's not bothered by the scheduling conflict.
"It's a great moment for the nation to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., Day and the inauguration of a president of any race," he said.
Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Society events
Friday: Student Leadership Forum, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. Students are selected by their schools to attend the forum.
Friday: Youth Awards and Keeping the Dream Alive Ceremony, 6 to 8 p.m., Dream Center, 200 W. 46th St. North.
Saturday: Play - "Two Cousins Walking Through Faith," 2 p.m., Booker T. Washington Historical Site, 1631 E. Woodrow Place.
Sunday: Walk in Peace, 5:30 p.m., procession forms at 5:15 p.m. at Seventh Street and Cincinnati Avenue and marches to 13th Street and Boston Avenue.
Sunday: Interfaith Commemoration Service, 6 p.m., Boston Avenue United Methodist Church.
Monday: Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, 11 a.m. The route starts at Detroit Avenue, travels east on John Hope Franklin Boulevard through the OSU-Tulsa campus, then south on Greenwood Avenue to Archer Street and ends in front of ONEOK Field.
Original Print Headline: MLK Day events grow in scope
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Dancers make their way down Greenwood Avenue during the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Tulsa in 2012. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World file