First Posted: 1/10/2009
When Civil Rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., his dream didnt die with him it set in motion an effort to keep his principles of peace, perseverance and hope thriving. In keeping with that momentum, Cheryl Scott and her sister, LaDonna McCarther, are honoring people in Surry County who are continuing the dream of King.
On Jan. 17, the sisters will be hosting their fourth annual In the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Surry Countians Continuing the Dream at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional Historys annex building on 144 W. Oak St. from 7 to 8 p.m. Admission to the program is free, but donations will be accepted.
The spiritual program of healing, as described by McCarther and Scott, will focus on the sacrifices, love, learning, service, perseverance and the hope of the African-American community of Surry County.
The pair created the event in 2005 as a ceremony to recognize people continuing the dream of Martin Luther King.
A lot of people know the story of Martin Luther King, McCarther said. He had a dream of hope, perseverance, but there were people before, during and after Dr. King who have worked to achieve those in this community.
Honorees at the program are those who exemplify what King taught and believed, she said.
The people who participate (in the program) always embody his spirit, said Linda Stanfield, the director of the museum.
Previous honorees include Martha Joyce (2005), Shelby King (2006) and Edward McDaniel (2007). Because last years program was canceled due to inclement weather, this years program will honor both a person for 2008 and 2009.
The program will include an interpretative dance by Marie Nicholson of poet Maya Angelous Still I Rise, separate musical performances by Dr. Steve Lindsley and Evelyn Gentry-Howie, and a candle-lighting ceremony.
Following the program, there will be African exhibits for people to view, and refreshments will be served.
Stanfield, the museums director, said the program has received wonderful response and support from the community, and that its important because its message transcends to all generations and cultures.
We all benefit from this (program), she said. Its a message, a way of life, a way to embrace life and you cant go wrong embracing this message.
Scott mirrored her comments.
Its so uplifting, she explained about the program. Sometimes we forget the progress that has been made, but when you come (to the program), you remember the unity and the progress.
She said the lives of those who are recognized at the program parallel with that of King.
Surry Countians have made sacrifices, she said. King was real, he faced his own eminent death to help us all have a better life, you cant help but respect that.
For more information about the program, call the museum at 786-4478.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.