January 15, 10:00am
by Patricia Muhammad
SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (December 28, 2017) – School District 205, South Suburban College, and Thornton Township are hosting a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration titled, “Courage Now, Courage Tomorrow, Courage Forever,” on January 15 at South Suburban College. Doors open at 9:00am, and the program begins at 10:00am, according to Communications and Media Director Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Lamothe said, “The purpose of the event is to celebrate the vision and heart of Dr. King’s dream. It’s also to celebrate as a community together, which is why this year’s theme is named courage.”
Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Ozzie Smith Jr. believes Dr. King’s message is just as timely in today’s social climate as it was in years past. Smith said, “Dr. King’s dream is more necessary now than it’s ever been. His message is as relevant now as it’s ever been. We are going through such incredible times, and we have to rise and meet the challenge.”
Lamothe commented, “With so much that has gone on in this country—not only during this year but in recent years—there is a need to revisit not only how we got here, but how Dr. King’s dream is still necessary today. We need to understand the importance of being together as a community.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a southern black Baptist preacher and activist from Atlanta, Georgia, who started the Civil Rights Movement in 1954. King helped establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and he advocated sit-ins and non-violent protests. With the SCLC and the NAACP, King pushed for integration and social equality for blacks. Today, the Civil Rights Movement benefits people of all races and creeds. King’s life abruptly ended at the age of 39—he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. King’s controversial death sparked civil unrest, violence, protests, and widespread vandalism.
Lamothe says, “History is something that is important for the younger generations to understand because it gives them a guiding light. It’s hard to understand where you’re going if you don’t understand history.”
The King celebration is an annual event that typically draws a crowd of more than 350 people. This year’s “Courage” event will be the only sponsored King celebration hosted by Thornton Township.
South Suburban College is located at 15800 South State Street in South Holland, Illinois.
(Image: “Martin Luther King, American,” by Liisa Wrang. Free for commercial use.)