The spirit if the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was alive and well at Hannah Caldwell Elementary School yesterday as Union Community Center continued their tradition of celebrating the life and work of the famous educator, minister and civil rights activist.
Bringing together hundreds of residents, their families, and members of various community and faith-based organizations, the event has become a staple in the community in the lead-up to Black History Month.
“Dr. King’s legacy is one of not only ministry but of education and that is why I am always thrilled to come to this event because at its core it brings together the work of our students, educators and our faith based organizations,” said Mayor Manuel Figueiredo in his remarks to the audience.
The program’s keynote speaker was Emmy Award winner Walter Frye, Jr. who talked about his experience growing up a young black man often miscategorized by the majority because of his formative life experiences and being educated at Yale and Harvard.
He went on to talk about his initial dread as a young man to celebrate Black History; because of how it called attention to the differences between he and his friends. Over time he began to accept and even embrace his obligation to spread awareness about the African American experience, even coordinating a day where he and his six other black classmates at Harvard Business School could celebrate their journey and that of their ancestors.
Quoting Dr. King, Frye said, “Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.”
The program also featured Praise Dance performances from Aenon Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, and St. Paul’s Calvary United Church of God; along with a performance of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going on” by Neja Charles, and a poem told by the members of Kappa Alpha PSI Fraternity, Inc.
And following in the tradition of years past, the organization honored students from throughout the Union Public School District, form grades Pre-K – 8 who, according to their teachers have lived up to the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.