The 32nd annual Kailua-Kona Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration is set for noon on Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Old Kona Airport Beach Park Makeo Pavilion, aka the big pavilion. Everyone is invited to the free community celebration, which will feature a commemoration program and potluck. Please bring a dish to share.
The celebration will consist of live entertainment, personal reflections, songs, dance performances and a display of art. There will be a special music presentation by Eddie Imorie, as well as music by Binti Bailey & the Soul Translation Band. Keynote speaker will be retired National Park Service Interpretive Ranger Ernest D. Young Sr. of Holualoa.
“Please join in on this celebration; the history and experience of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be inspirational as well as educational,” said an event spokesman.
King became the face of the effort to bring racial equality to this nation.
His eloquent voice on behalf of the disadvantaged was heard all across the United States and, ultimately, around the world
The Kailua-Kona observance was started 32 years ago by the late Kona resident Frank Bramlett, along with Mamie Bramlett, Virginia Halliday and Kathy Simmons. The event has grown since that time to include many volunteers and an all-volunteer committee from the community which coordinates the celebration each January.
For more information on the King birthday celebration, please contact Halliday at 325-1112 or Simmons at 325-5252.
The revered civil rights leader was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga. His father was a Baptist minister, and his mother a musician. At 19 he graduated in 1948 from Morehouse College in Atlanta. Before he turned 27 he had earned a bachelor of divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University.
From the time King and his bride, the former Coretta Scott, moved to Montgomery, Ala., in 1954, King was destined to play an important role in the history of the United States.
The year after he arrived in Montgomery to accept the pastorate of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus, and the support group that was organized to defend her and to boycott the bus company, the Montgomery Improvement Association, chose King as its leader.
. In the next few years King intensified his drive for equal rights, staging boycotts in Albany, Ga., in 1961-62 and in Birmingham in the spring of 1963.