Kicking off the day’s festivities will be a march commencing at noon. It will start at A.P. Howell (Coke Oven) Park, travel down Martin Luther King Drive and go through downtown Jasper in front of the courthouse where a special song and prayer will be given. The march will end at the Percy L. Goode (Frisco Gym) Community Center.
After the march, a King Day program will be held at the community center along with other various activities, including a tribute to Dr. King, different songs and performances by area choirs, a message delivered and scriptures read.
One of the program organizers, Shirley Mitchell, said the program and march have been ongoing for more than 10 years. She said it’s time to “give back.”
“The non-violence march is one way of encouraging people to love and not hate each other, to help and not hurt each other,” Mitchell said. “... We have been given so much, and we need to give back. The time is now to do right and do good.”
Different communities throughout the county are being asked to have their members of the clergy to serve as grand marshals for the march and as platform guests during the program. Pastors also are being encouraged to have their officers and church members to attend and participate in the day’s events.
All churches are being asked to drive their church van(s) in the march.
Program officials have requested that those in attendance to either wear their Trayvon Martin t-shirts or a red shirt in memory of Martin, a 17-year-old African American who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Florida.
Mitchell also encourages everyone to join in the festivities by bringing a sign, picture or poster and either walking or driving in the march for non-violence.
“If we don’t stand up and do something, these things will continue to go on,” Mitchell said. “It’s not just for black people; it’s for people of all races.”
If you would like more information on the King Day March for Non-violence or if you would like to participate, contact Marchette Anderson at (205) 717-9459; Kai Johnson at (205) 717-9669; or Dinah Parker at (205) 924-6062.