Three Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations scheduled

January 11, 2001

Three events in Carroll County will celebrate the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Former Students and Friends of Robert Moton School will hold its 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Martin's Westminster in 140 Village Shopping Center.

The Rev. Mitchell O. Thomas from Payne Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore will speak, and the Morgan State University choir will sing. The Rev. Dr. Howard W. Hinson, pastor of Union Street United Methodist Church, will give the blessing and benediction.

Recipients of this year's scholarships will be announced at the breakfast. The group has awarded $62,000 in scholarships since 1974 to African-American students in Carroll County. Tickets are $25. Information: 410-848-6943.

The seventh annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration for South Carroll will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 2205 Old Liberty Road, Eldersburg. A family potluck supper will open the evening's activities, and participants are asked to bring a dish to share. Admission is free. Entertainment will be provided.

The Rev. Johnny Golden from BRIDGE will speak. Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality serves Baltimore City and County, and Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard and Carroll counties. The group's aim is to use faith-based techniques to create regional justice and to help the poor.

An offering will be taken for Carroll County Fuel and Energy Fund, dispensed through Human Resources Programs.

Information: 410-795-6333.

Western Maryland College's third annual celebration of the life and work of King will feature afternoon workshops and an evening theatrical program Monday.

The workshops for elementary, middle and high school students, developed in collaboration with Carroll County's chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Levine Hall and McDaniel Lounge. The opening session features a storytelling program for pupils, while older students meet with a panel of local civil rights activists.

The wrap-up is a musical get-together with Eric Byrd, WMC's gospel choir director and composer of "To Be a King," a work that is part of the King archives in Atlanta. Registration for workshops: 410-857-2536.

The evening program, "Keeping the Dream Alive in the 21st Century," at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall, features a narration written by WMC student Maya Redfearn that includes theatrical re-creation of several civil rights leaders from 1955-1963. Redfearn's cast mates will portray Rosa Parks, Ralph Abernathy, Melba Beals (one of nine teen-agers who helped integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.), Fannie Lou Hamer (voting rights worker), Joseph McNeil (one of the four original protesters at the Woolworth's lunch counter in North Carolina] and A. Philip Randolph (longtime jobs advocate who called for the 1963 march in Washington).

Redfearn begins the program, which is woven around King's "I Have a Dream" speech, with the 1955 death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy killed while visiting relatives in Mississippi - for flirting with a white woman. Despite testimony from several African-Americans, including Till's grandfather Mose Wright, the killers were freed.

Mamie Bradley, Till's mother, who insisted on an open-casket funeral to draw worldwide attention to the slaying, is featured in Redfearn's program. "His death was a spark to the movement," Redfearn said. She also mentions the four young victims - Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley - of the 1963 bombing of a church in Birmingham, Ala.

Information: 410-857-2599 or 410-857-2290.

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