Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 11, 2018 Prosperity Connection
A quote from Dr. King in his visit to St. Louis in December 1957.

“Now you will notice that the extreme optimist and the extreme pessimist have at least one thing in common: they both agree that we must sit down and do nothing in the area of race relations. The extreme optimist says do nothing because integration is inevitable. The extreme pessimist says do nothing because integration is impossible. But there is a third position, there is another attitude that can be taken, and it is what I would like to call the realistic position. The realist in the area of race relations seeks to reconcile the truths of two opposites while avoiding the extremes of both. So the realist would agree with the optimist that we have come a long, long way.

But, he would go on to balance that by agreeing with the pessimist that we have a long, long way to go. (Amen) [applause] And it is this basic theme that I would like to set forth this evening. We have come a long, long way but we have a long, long way to go.”
These are good words, words we should heed today. Apathy is the antithesis of action. Indifference towards the problems of society just means that you’re allowing someone else to make a decision for you, to take an action that might have far-reaching consequences for yourself in the future. And yes, in 2018, in St. Louis and across the country, we still have a long, long way to go.

How can we commemorate and honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and teachings? Here are just a few opportunities in the St. Louis area to observe his greatness and how it continues to impact the lives of us all.



When • 9 a.m. Where • Old Court House Rotunda, Fourth and Market streets How much • Free More info • Lady Merdean Gales, 314-583-053; Nigel Word, 314-809-3456

Michael McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis presides over the annual observance. This year’s theme is “The Struggle Continues — Nonviolence is the Way.” Activities begin at 9 a.m., with the civic ceremony starting at 10 a.m. March of Celebration begins at 11 a.m. and proceeds to Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church, where an interfaith service is set for 12:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Committee.


When • 9 a.m. Where • Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal Church, 13th and Locust streets How much • Free More info • 314-231-3454 or christchurchcathedral.us

All are invited to come, sit and listen, and/or read the writings and speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To read, just come to the front and indicate to the reader that you wish to take over. Sponsored by Christ Church Cathedral.


When • 11 a.m. Where • Compton Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 3141 LaSalle Street How much • Free More info • Viola Biggers at 314-239-5786 or comptonhillmbchurch@yahoo.com

“Remembering Why and Continuing the Way:” A tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


When • 1-3 p.m. Where • Keating Theatre, Kirkwood High School, 801 West Essex Avenue How much • $6; free to students More info • www.meachamparknia.org

The program will include musical performances, spoken word poetry and distribution of the Meacham Park Scholars Award to selected Kirkwood students. Tickets may be bought online: www.meachamparknia.org. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the MNIA scholarship fund. Sponsors are the Meacham Park Neighborhood Association, Kirkwood School District and the city of Kirkwood.


When • 6:30 p.m. Where • Wellspring Church, 33 South Florissant Road How much • Free More info • wellspringchurchstl.org, or 314-521-4217

Retired bishop and contemporary theologian Will Willimon, professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry and former dean of chapel at Duke University, will be the featured speaker.


When • 4 p.m. Where • Washington University School of Medicine Eric P. Newman Education Center, 320 South Euclid Avenue How much • Free

The speaker is Robert D. Bullard, distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. He is the author of 18 books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, community reinvestment housing, transportation and other crucial environmental justice issues. Sponsored by the Office of Diversity Programs at Washington University School of Medicine.


When • 7–8:30 p.m. Where • Washington University Danforth Campus Graham Chapel, 1 Brookings Drive How much • Free More info • Rudolph Clay Jr., 314-935-5059 or rudolphc@wustl.edu

Thirtieth annual commemoration of the legacy of Dr. King. The keynote speaker will be Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, executive minister of justice and witness ministries for the United Church of Christ and Pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant. Sponsored by the Washington University Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee.



When • 4:30 p.m. Where • Youth and Family Center, 818 Cass Avenue How much • Free More info • Myrle Mensey Symonds, 314-660-1008, or throwingandgrowing@gmail.com

Top three winners of the “If — I Believe” contest will recite their essays. Performance by the Youth and Family Center After School Youth. Guest speakers will be participants from the Throwing and Growing Foundation programs. A reception will follow. Sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission.

JAN. 26


When • noon Where • Maryville University Auditorium, 650 Maryville University Drive How much • Free More info • Turan Mullins at 314-529-9434 or tmullins@maryville.edu

Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will feature Bernice King, his daughter.

All Month for January

St. Louis Public Library hosts several programs throughout January at various locations. This includes displays, history mapping, book clubs, spoken word performances and much more. Visit https://www.slpl.org/news/st-louis-public-library-celebrates-mlk-by-presenting-a-month-of-programming/ for more information.