MLK Day celebration plans set for Monday

Published 7:50 am Friday, January 16, 2009

FRANKLIN—While Americans are considering the historic nature of Tuesday’s inauguration of Barack Obama as the first black president, Monday is a day set aside to remember the man who many believed helped pave the way for Obama’s success.

The Holland-Holy Neck Civic League will sponsor the 15th Annual MLK Breakfast Monday at the Laurel Hill United Church located at 8001 S Quay Road on the Highway 58 bypass.

According to breakfast chair, Jean Copeland, the event will feature the Rev. Ben Fitzgerald of Zion Christian Church.

“Each year we ask a minister to come and speak about what Dr. King meant to them personally and how he touched their lives,” Copeland said.

Copeland said well-known area percussionist Therbia Parker will also give a black history presentation.

“We keep the breakfast short because people typically like to go out to other events honoring Dr. King after they leave here,” Copeland said.

Copeland, who retired as a guidance counselor from Southampton County schools, said she helped start the breakfast 15 years ago because Dr. King’s legacy is close to her heart.

“When I started with the Southampton County Schools in 1963, I started during segregation,” she said. “I also participated in marches and other demonstrations to end Jim Crow laws during that time.”

She said that after Dr. King’s birthday became a national holiday, she felt obligated.

“We knew we had to do something constructive to remember him and this is what we came up with,” she said.

Copeland said when they first started the breakfast, only about 35- 40 people attended. “Last year we have over 100 come out,” she said.

Copeland said everyone is invited to come and participate in the celebration that begins at 8:30 a.m. Tickets are $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 657-6179.