MLK Jr. Observance Day brings community members together

Marshall University’s Intercultural Affairs Office, the NAACP Huntington-Cabell Branch and the surrounding Huntington community gathered at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse for the annual MLK Jr. Observance Day program Monday.

Students, family and friends marched from 16 Street Baptist Church to Marshall’s campus carrying signs symbolizing hope and freedom.

Maurice Cooley, associate vice president of Marshall’s Intercultural Affairs Office, opened up the program with a welcome to the congregation.

Renay Freckleton, a sophomore at Marshall University studying sports management and accounting, said she feels great knowing that so many adults in this community care enough about the young African American to put together this program.

“This is the day we commemorate a great African American man in history,” Freckleton said. “I love how the Huntington community really stands behind their young men and women before them. There was a liturgical dance performed by Jehovah’s Warriors of Full Gospel Assembly, as well as the American Dream Movement with the closing finale all done with the help from the older members of the community. It was beautiful to watch everyone become so involved to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The program included many notable figures in the community, such as Sylvia Ridgeway, president of the Huntington-Cabell Branch of the NAACP, who shared a greeting and regards to those attending.

Raevyn Page, a sophomore at Huntington High school, said she really enjoyed attending the program because she feels like she is a part of something bigger than herself.

“It is a good feeling to know that my friends and I can go to events like this to celebrate someone that has done so much for us being black females in the community,” Page said. “I like that history was shared so we know who fought for us and how we have the rights that we have today.”

Following the program there was a light reception in the Joan C. Edwards lobby where people gathered to reflect on the observance and celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Christian Davis can be contacted at [email protected]