Martin Luther King Day Report
By Robert Bernstein
Martin Luther King Day was celebrated once again in a big way in Santa Barbara. The theme this year was "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends".
Here are my videos and my photos of the events.
The events started at 9AM in De La Guerra Plaza with dance, music and short speeches to rally the crowd. Congressional Representative Salud Carbajal gave this short speech:
World Dance for Humanity delivered several performances, climaxing with this dance rendition of "Proud Mary"
Former Mayor Hal Conklin gave a short speech of his experience of visiting the office of Martin Luther King. He noted that King had a portrait of Gandhi in his office. There is much emphasis of King's Christian connections. But it is important to understand that much of his deeper understanding of principles, tactics and strategy actually came from Gandhi's non-violent movement.
A highlight of the day's events was the State Street march from De La Guerra Plaza to the Arlington Theater
Singer Lois Mahalia performed several solo musical pieces to perfection. Here she performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing":
Perhaps my favorite parts of the Martin Luther King celebrations are the youth poetry and essay contests, organized by local poet laureate Sojourner Kincaid Rolle. It is inspiring to hear the actual readings of the winning poems and essays by these bright young people.
Here were the readings and awards for the age 6-12 participants:
Here were the readings and awards for the age 13-18 participants:
In between those two sections we were treated to a youth dance performance. Derrick Curtis and Trudie Olsen-Curtis presented their dance students from the Core Knowledge program at La Cumbre Junior High. Performing the Shim Sham swing dance.
The official centerpiece of the events of the day: The keynote speech by the Reverend Dr James M. Lawson. Dr Lawson was a key advisor to Dr King on non-violent strategy and tactics. He emphasized the importance of non violence as being at the core of everything that we must stand for. He was introduced by Michael A. Young, UCSB Vice Chancellor, Emeritus.
Here is the speech, including the introduction:
Here the Board members of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara posed for a photo together
I should also note that official proclamations and awards were delivered by elected officials at the City, State and National level:
After the program at the Arlington Theater, people walked to a free community lunch at the First United Methodist Church at 305 East Anapamu Street. More music and a chance to mingle.