Sixty years ago, Ernest Green and his classmates were just kids trying to graduate from high school.
Jan. 16 marks the 30th anniversary of the holiday named in the late civil rights leader’s honor. Xpress took the opportunity to speak with Al Whitesides, Buncombe County’s first African-American commissioner, about some of King’s deepest concerns.
Marching in the tradition of the civil rights movement, people of all ages set off on foot and on wheels from St. James AME Church on a bright cold MLK Day morning on Mon., January 18. The Peace March culminated in a rally at Pack Square Park. Several hundred marchers turned out to remember King’s life and legacy, sing, dance and hear remarks from community leaders.
Local leaders reflect on King’s influence and legacy nearly half a century after his assassination on April 4, 1968. Whether or not they were alive during King’s lifetime, all agree that his work and example had a profound impact on American society that continues today. Here’s what they had to say, along with some compelling quotes from King himself.
Oralene Simmons founded Asheville’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast in 1982 for residents of the neighborhood surrounding the Montford Recreation Center. It quickly grew into an Asheville tradition that’s still going strong as Simmons plans this year’s 35th community commemoration of Dr. King’s life and legacy.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an annual peace march departed from St. James African Methodist Episocopal church around noon. The procession met others honoring King at a rally in City-County Plaza, complete with music and speeches from community leaders.