SC4 honors civil rights leader
St. Clair County Community College hosted the 13th annual event on Monday, Jan. 19, (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) at 6:30 p.m. in its Fine Arts Auditorium honoring the civil rights leader. The celebration consisted of live performances including inspirational music, readings, drama, dance, poem and prayer.
Community event sponsors including the Port Huron branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Times Herald, and SC4’s Global Diversity Advisory Council were in attendance.
The house was packed to honor the 1960s civil rights leader. The program, “Rooted in the Past – Growing Towards the Future,” recollected MLK’s life achievements, recognized how his work continues today in our community and the nation, and motivated those present to join in the work that yet remains.
Recordings from African-American gospel and choir music played as the crowd took their seats. Pastor Tray Smith opened with a welcome from SC4’s president, Dr. Kevin A. Pollock. Smith continued introductions throughout the evening with well-received humor.
Carly Van Dyke and SC4 community choir director, Rachel McCue performed the national anthem and other inspirational music. Reverend Carl Miller sang the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” with impressive resonance.
St. Mary McCormick Catholic Academy presented its girls Doo Wop vocal group, “Strollers.” They sang, with precision, pop songs from the 1950s that MLK undoubtedly heard.
Young adults from the S.O.N.S. Talented Tenth group expounded on selected MLK writings, within the context of today’s society. They waxed poetic and challenged specific current social situations that do not agree with the dream of MLK.
Kevin Watkins, President of the NAACP Port Huron, shared sincerely about progress in his organization due to Dr. King’s influence. His conviction was shared with passion, that the dream is fulfilled as we move together, as one.
SC4‘s Brent Morton showed the audience personal photographs from his pilgrimage to the iconic places MLK lived, worshipped and worked in Georgia and Alabama. Photos included the bus, on display at Henry Ford Museum, in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.
Alphonso Amos motivated and inspired the crowd as he reflected on the dream of MLK. Amos addressed both the progress of our nation in fulfilling the dream and the work that remains to be done.
Inspirational dance was performed by Lurlene Nichols and LaNeisha Murphy.
Elder David Nichols read the legendary, “I Have a Dream” speech with powerful and moving delivery. Pastor Tray Smith shared final remarks and led prayer, as the audience joined hands. In closing, everyone sang the African-American protest song, “We Shall Overcome.”