“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Monday is the birthday of civil rights icon the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the YWCA of Greater Charleston will present a weekend full of events to celebrate his legacy. This annual observance turns 46 this year and the theme is “One Man, One Dream … Together We Achieve.”
The biggest highlight of the celebration will be Monday morning’s MLK Parade, which will begin at Burke High School in downtown Charleston and end at the Gaillard Center, just past Mother Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Street. This year’s grand marshal will be Jerome Taylor, the appointed interim chief of police with the Charleston Police Department. He is the second black police chief in the history of the department, the first being the late Reuben Greenberg. Around 3,000 celebrants are expected to participate in the parade.
WHEN: 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15
WHERE: Begins at President and Sumter streets, Sumter to King Street, King to Calhoun Street, ending at Anson Street, downtown Charleston
Charleston’s first poet laureate Marcus Amaker will host the MLK Youth Speak-Out/Poetry Slam at the Charleston County Main Library on Saturday. This event will include food, music, prizes and more.
WHEN: 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13
WHERE: Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St., downtown Charleston
PRICE: Free and open to the public
Morris Street Baptist Church will host the MLK Ecumenical Service on Sunday, with keynote speaker Michael Boulware Moore, president and chief executive officer with the International African American Museum. Moore is a descendant of Robert Smalls, an African slave who commandeered a Confederate ship in the Charleston Harbor in 1862, turned it over to the Union forces, became a captain in the Union army and later was elected to the South Carolina state Legislature and Congress.
WHEN: 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14
WHERE: Morris Street Baptist Church, 25 Morris St., downtown Charleston
The annual MLK Business & Professional Breakfast on Tuesday at the Gaillard Center will begin with honorary chairman Mayor John Tecklenburg, followed by keynote speaker Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president and general manager with Boeing South Carolina.
WHEN: 7:30-9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16
WHERE: Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St., downtown Charleston
MORE INFO: 843-722-1644, ywca-charlestonsc.org