Martin Luther King, Jr. service marks the start of celebratory MLK events


Jeromiah Taylor

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Donald DeLue, Bronze, 1976. This bust of Dr. King, acquired by SGA in the early 1980’s, is displayed in front of Lindquist Hall.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s very own fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc, will host its annual celebration service to honor the life and legacy of King. The service acts as a kick-off for several other celebratory events/services this week and on.

Director of diversity, equity and inclusion in the honor’s college, Kevin Harrison, will be speaking at the service. 

“I’m asked to speak fairly regularly for different types of events and things, and normally, I’m not intimidated by it at all. This is a little more daunting than most,” Harrison said. “The reason being is that there wasn’t really a theme or direction. It was just, think about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and that’s not a legacy that you can put in bullet points.” 

Harrison plans to speak on King’s life and his influence, as well as his final book, “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” 

“For example, Dr. King is directly responsible for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” Harrison said. “And to just think that, he was able to use language really as a weapon and not violence. That speaks volumes.”

Harrison also noted the importance of viewing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as more than just a day off from work or school. 

“If you look at it as, ‘Oh, thank God I don’t have to work,’ or ‘I don’t have to go to school,’ then you kind of missed the point,” Harrison said. “I think the bigger point is that there really is one race: the human race … We have this planet that we have to share.” 

The celebration service will take place Friday, Jan. 13, at 7:06 p.m. (or 19:06 military time)  — which corresponds to the start of Alpha Phi Alpha in 1906. The service will be at Calvary Baptist Church.

A list of other celebratory or service events can be found here.