Events will honor MLK legacy this weekend

It has been nearly 45 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

King, an eloquent Baptist minister from Atlanta, is best known for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means.

The MLK federal holiday was officially observed for the first time by all 50 states in 2000. But Wichitans have honored King through the years since his death on April 4, 1968.

The Kansas African American Museum will host its 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration beginning Saturday. Events include a parade beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Christian Faith Centre, 1130 S. Broadway, and ending at Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square on Douglas between Market and Broadway. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

On Sunday, beginning at 7 p.m. at Century II, the organizations and people who have continued King’s message of service, inspiration and leadership will be featured at a community gathering. There also will be dance and choir performances. Admission is $3.

On Monday, the official MLK holiday, the Greater Wichita Ministerial League will hold its “Another Step in Fulfilling the Dream” celebration at Wichita State University’s Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th Street North. The event begins at 10 a.m. and will include a live broadcast of President Obama’s inauguration speech.

Youth and adult choirs will perform and the Ministerial League will present awards to City Council member Lavonta Williams and the Urban League of Kansas. The winner of a third award, the Presidential Award, is being kept secret until Monday’s event.

Mayor Carl Brewer will speak at the event, which is free and open to the public.