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Archive for Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Day takes on added significance

January 21, 2013, 11:18 p.m. Updated January 22, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

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Helen Henry, 7, of Lawrence, gets ready for a candlelight vigil from Strong Hall on the Kansas University campus to the Kansas Union. Dozens of people took part in Monday’s vigil honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Helen Henry, 7, of Lawrence, gets ready for a candlelight vigil from Strong Hall on the Kansas University campus to the Kansas Union. Dozens of people took part in Monday’s vigil honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

With Washington, D.C., full of pomp and circumstance for the second inauguration of the nation’s first black president, Kansas University on Monday held its own ceremony to honor the man who may have helped pave President Barack Obama’s way.

More than 50 people stood in the Strong Hall rotunda Monday afternoon to listen to excerpts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” before proceeding with lighted candles to a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in the Kansas Union.

“It’s so important with African-American history that today we have our first African-American who has been elected twice,” high school student Diamond Townsend, of Topeka, said of the holiday falling on the day of the inauguration.

Distinguished professor of English Maryemma Graham spoke about the meaning of the day and the candlelight procession.

“It represents light in a dark world,” she said. “But it’s also for those who have come before us and lighted the way in that struggle.”

The procession ended in the Big 12 Room at the Union, where Hannah Bolton, student body president, and others commemorated the day.

“It’s a huge moment in our history and for us as students,” Bolton said. She added that the university’s celebration of the day was important because it helped bring forth and celebrate KU’s diversity.

Also during the celebration, KU’s Inspirational Gospel Voices choir performed, and winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest from Lawrence Memorial Central Middle School and Lawrence High School.

Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest winners

David Krejci and Annie Olson, Liberty Memorial Central Middle School

Marlee Bird and Emily Saunders, Lawrence High School

Comments

rockchalk1977 1 year, 2 months ago

There should only be four (4) holidays per year... Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everything else is a waste of time and money.

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UltimateGrownup 1 year, 2 months ago

This article is false. It is ironic that Obama is inaugurated on MLK Day, since he represents the only major political party with a bad civil rights record. The Republican Party was born to end slavery and President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years into the first Republican administration. The Democrats fought the Republicans tooth and nail in the years that followed, as Republicans gave blacks the right to vote and protected blacks in general. Many black Republicans were elected to Congress. Meanwhile the Democrats, the party of Bull Connor, have favored discrimination throughout American history. Until the 1960s, they advocated anti-black discrimination and then they switched to advocate anti-white discrimination. MLK's political stands read like the Republican Party platform. He sought to judge people by the content of their character, not their skin color. He was pro-family and anti-abortion. Also, I don't care what color Obama is, but the article is incorrect as referring to him as black. One of his parents was white.

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Jan Rolls 1 year, 2 months ago

It was a great day until I heard some jerk on fox news saying that Obama was the 2nd black president to be elected. What idiots.

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Astrunk 1 year, 2 months ago

Just a note: I'll add the names of the essay contest winners tomorrow when I get a hold of them for those interested.

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