Bernice A. King, a convener of the nation-wide and global mobilization has assisted in the point of making this marquee moment in time.
“Our coalition has organized a wonderful, diverse program, which begins in Atlanta, continues for 8 days in Washington, D.C. and culminates with a global bell-ringing. We expect hundreds of thousands of people to join us in the nation’s capitol for this historic event, and many more to take part world-wide in their communities.”- Bernice A. King,
On Tuesday, August 27th the King Center will co-host the K-12th Grade Educational Initiative at the “School Without Walls,” a Washington, D.C. public school. The event is for students, but the public is invited to stream the program from http://officialmlkdream50.com/. My mother, Mrs. Naomi King and my cousin Dr. Angela Farris Watkins are slated to speak at the forum that day.
The King Center, along with the National Park Service and others, is co-sponsoring a full day of activities on August 28th, the actual anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. There will be an Interfaith Service at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC from 8:30 (prelude) to 10:30 a.m. that will include a variety of religious disciplines.
That afternoon there will be a “Let Freedom Ring Call to Action and Commemoration Ceremony” from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C will feature remarks from President Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the King Family, elected officials, international dignitaries, celebrities, youth and leaders from national and international organizations. The program is global in nature and will include performances by a Haka Team from New Zealand and Junkanoo Performers from the Bahamas. Confirmed program participants include: Kid President, Jaime Fox, Peter and Paul, Hill Harper, Soledad O’Brien, Lynda Johnson Robb, Bebe Winans Shirley Caesar, Heather Headley and others to be announced. A song I wrote, “Let Freedom Ring” will also be performed that day. For more details, go to http://officialmlkdream50.com/.
King says that her father’s call to “Let Freedom Ring” in his speech will be answered with programs and bell-ringing ceremonies across the nation on August 28th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In addition to the diverse activities scheduled for Washington, D.C., programs celebrating the ’63 March and Dr. King’s dream with bell-ringing ceremonies have thus far been scheduled in places as diverse as: Montgomery, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado; Stone Mountain, Roswell, Rome and Atlanta, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Topeka, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; Chaska Minnesota; Tougaloo College, Jackson, Greenwood and Columbus, Mississippi; Jefferson City, Missouri; Amherst, Concord, Isles of Shoals, Nashua, North Conway, Pelham and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire; New York, New York; Delaware and Grandville, Ohio; Allentown, Lafayette College and Allegheny College, Pennsylvania; Nyack, New York; Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; Marion Cross School, Norwich, Vermont; and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with more being added every day.
Bell-ringing programs will take place outside the U.S. at 3:00 p.m. in their respective time zones in locations as diverse as: Kathmandu, Nepal; Lutry and Montreaux, Switzerland; Monrovia, Liberia; London, U.K.; and Tokyo, Japan.
In my heart of hearts I truly believe that we all long to be “free at last.” I’m not sure how many remember the rest of the phrase from that speech delivered so long ago: “Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last.” As we approach the March and the Bell Ringing Ceremony, let us pray for each other, and love one another so that we can ascend above the looming abyss that threatens to reach that higher ground.