LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The Laurel County African American Heritage Center will be hosting their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day festivities on Monday, Jan. 20. The public event will celebrate the holiday from early morning to early evening.
“It’s important that all people in the community be allowed to participate,” said Wayne Riley, Heritage Center director. “It’s for everybody. It’s important that people – especially teenagers and kids – feel like they’re contributing.”
All MLK activities will be held at the London Community Center. Educational activities for children begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 1:30 p.m. Participating children will learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and enter an essay contest. A random person from the attending crowd will judge the essays and there will be a monetary prize for the winner.
The early afternoon will feature the Heritage Center’s annual fashion show. The show’s theme is “Sunday’s Best,” according to Riley. Gospel singing from First Baptist East Bernstadt and Altamont Baptist is also set to accompany the event.
Between 5:15 and 5:30 p.m., event participants will meet at the Laurel County Courthouse. From downtown, they will march back to the London Community Center. Once there, Adanma O. Barton, a decorated professor in theatre at Berea College and published author, will be featured as a guest speaker.
After, children will be awarded for their daily essays and 12 different people will read the famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 12 parts.
Wayne Riley founded the Laurel County African American Heritage Center in 2004 to honor his late aunt, Lutisha Riley. The Center serves as a meeting place and public archive for African-American history and heritage in Laurel County.
For more information on the upcoming event, contact Wayne Riley at the Laurel County African American Heritage Center at (606) 224-8111 or visit www.africanamericanheritagecenter.com.