Fayetteville, GA- Monday, January 20, 2014 Fayette County Board of Education along with the Fayette County Branch of NAACP continued “Advancing the Call For Civility and Civil Rights” with the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration and Program.
Over 150 citizens of Fayette County gathered in the streets to participate in the annual Dr. King day events. Beginning with the parade where school bands, color guards, churches and other local businesses marched in remembrance of Dr. King.
The annual celebration of Dr. King was not always “a welcome idea” according to City Council Member Reverend Edward Johnson. In 2000, as the Fayette County NAACP President he was made aware that “many of the cities in Fayette County did not even allow the staff to take the day off unless they took a “vacation day” to celebrate a day of recognizing Dr. King’s legacy.” In 2001 Mayor Steve Brown, of Peachtree City, “welcomed the idea of hosting a program at Peachtree City Hall. Johnson continued by saying that it took five years of persistency from the NAACP for “other Fayette Cities to recognize the holiday.”
The 2014 Annual Parade and Celebration Program were held at Sam’s Auditorium where community members of all races gathered to remember the legacy of Dr. King. The event opened with selections from the Olivet Children and Youth Choir and led into a program to celebrate “unity for all.” Keynote speaker, Reverend Carolyn Maull McKinstry recalled her experience of surviving the 16th Street Church Bombing in Birmingham, AL. Fayette County NAACP President John E. Jones followed with a recitation of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Awards for the MLK Essay Winners, MLK Academic Achievement, Athletic Excellence and 2014 Parade Float Winners were given in the end to celebrate student achievements through the year.
Johnson closed with a reminder that “although, many have embraced this day as one to celebrate, we are still working to get more diversity involved in the annual celebration.” by