MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama State University co-sponsored the 6th annual historic community-wide celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Friday at the historic Davis Theatre in downtown Montgomery. The theme of this year’s event was “Because of them, I am.”
The event, which was a mixture of music and drama, will feature the MLK Interfaith Community Choir and the ASU Dramatic Guild and ASU BFA Dance Company.
The goal was to spark conversation about the work Dr. King did for the community and how his legacy can be continued.
“What we’re doing is honoring Dr. King and his idea of the beloved community right here on the cusp of the national MLK holiday,” said Kenneth Mullinax with Alabama State University.
“It’s a wonderful celebration. The idea of this being the sixth celebration and the fact that if Dr. King had lived to see this day he would be very proud,” said MLK Celebration Founder Dr. Tommie Stewart.
Also during the event, several people received the Beloved Community Award, which commends residents for their exemplary work, leadership, and commitment in building Dr. King’s ideal of the “beloved community.”
Kahlia Bell accepted an award on behalf of her late mother Ella Bell.
“This award is a very special award because it truly exemplifies what my mom believed and who she was,” said Bell. “She really believed in Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream and bringing that dream into a reality. So this is a very special award and I just hate that she couldn’t be here for it.”
“It means a lot and especially on this weekend of all weekends, it’s a big honor,” said award recipient Phillip Ensler.
While this was an impactful night to the people that were honored, it also struck a chord with people in the audience.
“It means a lot to me to see what our ancestors when through, something that I can learn from, hopefully, walk on the shoulders of giants. The history, the things they laid before me, I look forward to carrying it on as well. I think in order for the city to move forward, it’s going to take the young people to grab onto the vision and bring their visions to the table,” said Tyrone Jackson.
The event was sponsored by Alabama State University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Troy University and Friends of the ASU Theatre.