WV Black Heritage Festival celebrates life of Martin Luther King Jr.


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The West Virginia Black Heritage Festival presented “A day to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Wednesday night at the Kelly Miller Community Center.

January 15 would have been King’s 91st Birthday. Those in attendance at the Kelly Miller Community Center celebrated King’s life and legacy.

Keynote speaker and attorney, Kathrine ‘Kitty’ Dooley, got the opportunity to speak about King’s initiatives, specifically how they lead to the positive change he created for African Americans.

“My message tonight is ‘A Charge to Keep’ and that means to the citizens at large that everyone has a responsibility to carry on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,” said Dooley “His dream for a society that was free of discrimination, that was free of racism where there were limits to poverty, and where there was a lack of war. And so, everybody has a responsibility in that and that is really the center theme of my speech.”

Chairman of the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Black Heritage Festival, James Griffin explained that he wanted people to really understand speeches and ideas that King had.

“Well what we have done is challenged these young people to look at one of his speeches outside of ‘I Have a Dream’ and tells us what that means to them, and what he was saying because he has a lot of great speeches,” said James Griffin, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Black Heritage Festival.

Griffin also stated that he was able to attend school in the Kelley Miller High School, which has since served as the Board of Education office and now is a community center.

He also emphasized the importance of being able to have speakers and events bringing the community together, while educating the younger generation.

Martin Luther King Day will be observed next week on January 20, where other celebrations will take place honoring King’s life in various locations around the Mountain State.

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