Even forty-eight years after his death, the values and vision of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are still celebrated, not just by those Americans in the Midwest, but by Americans across these United States. Once again, this year, the Roland Fine Arts Center on the campus of Hannibal La-Grange University in Hannibal invites us to come and celebrate what MLK and the Civil Rights Movement stood for and for what their message stands today.

Kurt Parsons

The celebration will take place Sunday, January 17, from 5-7pm at the Roland Fine Arts Center. This year's theme is "Our Youth and Our Hope". According to a news release by HLGU Director of Public Relations Carolyn Carpenter, The afternoon will feature presentations of "inspiring music" and a presentation by the event's featured speaker, Re. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker. Dr. Wise Baker is the pastor of Liberation Christian Church in St. Louis as well as chaplain at several different residential and detention centers in the St. Louis area.

This is the fourth year in which this commemorative event has been co-hosted by HLGU and Jim's Journey: the Huck Finn Freedom Center. Joining HLGU and the Freedom Center in sponsorship this year are HAYS and the Willow Street Christian Church.


The schedule for the afternoon includes many interesting events and presentations. One part of the celebration includes an art exhibit featuring both professional artists and works by area students revolving around the ideas of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Also among the entertainment will be presentations of "singing, dancing, rap, and storytelling" by young community artists and groups.

The event is open and free to the public. For those historically inclined, or who simply wish to learn about and honor the legacy of Dr. King, This celebration seems like THE thing to do with your Sunday (Jan. 17).