WASHINGTON — All across the area, people are honoring Martin Luther King Jr. On Sunday, in its 47th annual tribute, Arlington County, Virginia, celebrated the life of the great civil rights leader with music, dance and prose.
“While others, Holy Father, breathed out hatred, he breathed peace among all men,” prayed Rev. Dr. Richard Green, Associate Minister of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
The Voices of Inspiration choir sang while the NEWorks Freedom Dancers glided across the stage at Wakefield High School. Arlington County is proud of its steady tradition of honoring Dr. King, and county board members were among those offering recitations.
The event’s MC — gospel radio host Jacquie Gales Webb of WHUR — says it’s important that children learn about the civil rights struggle King led.
“It would be wonderful if some of the people, the baby boomers, would share with the younger people the experiences on this special holiday,” she says.
To 25-year-old Jarvis Mitchell of Richmond, King’s legacy provides the backdrop of his young life.
“We had our first black president who served two terms, which was phenomenal. Who would have thought that would have happened in my lifetime?” he says.
“They were born in an era in which there was an African-American president. They really don’t remember people not being able to go shopping or sit at lunch counters,” Gales Webb says.
Performers from D.C.’s Duke Ellington of the Arts were among those on stage for the celebration of King’s life.