Breakfast, March And Program Starts 8 A.M.
The community is invited to Mercer County’s 17th Annual 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 16, at the Harrodsburg Baptist Church (312 South Main Street).
This year’s theme reflects the state’s theme, “I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems,” from Dr. King’s “Where Do We Go From Here” address.
Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. The commemorative march begins at 9 a.m. at the back entrance of the HBC on Chiles Street and goes down Chiles Street, then turns right on Lexington Street then turns right on Main Street and ends in front of the HBC.
The program starts after the march at 9:30 a.m. The featured speaker will be the Affrilachian poet Shanita NitaJade Jackson. Jackson earned a master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) from the University of Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree in African and African American Studies from Berea College. Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor of English at Centre College. Jackson, who serves as vice president of the Kentucky State Poetry Society, also serves as a cultural worker with the Black Appalachian Coalition, gathering the lived experiences of African American people in Appalachia. For more information, visit blackappalachiancoalition.com.
The event honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was an advocate for racial equality and nonviolent social change. King and his brother, Rev. A.D. Williams King, the pastor at Zion Baptist Church in Louisville, joined Kentucky civil rights leaders in the March on Frankfort on March 5, 1964, in which 10,000 people—including many from here in Mercer County—marched to the state capitol to demand an end to segregation. Their efforts bore fruit two years later. In 1966, Kentucky became the first state in the South to make segregation illegal and to enforce equal access and treatment in stores, restaurants, hotels, theaters, other businesses and public places. A.D. King was also one of the organizers behind the successful 1968 campaign for an open housing ordinance here in Kentucky.
MLK day is also a day of service. The service project will support the community blessing boxes located around Mercer County. Those planning to attend are asked to bring a non-perishable ready to eat food item.
For more information, call Tara Duty or Deanna Ashmore at the Mercer County Cooperative Extension Office at 859-734-4378.