MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama State University's National Center of Civil Rights and African-American Culture will host its annual Graetz Symposium on Wednesday. The all-day event will be held at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist.
Although the event happens each year, organizers said this year will be particularly special because it will honor the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and observe what happened 50 years ago that made a difference in the whole entire world, not just Montgomery, but the world," Pastor Cromwell Handy said. "That is to see a life sacrificed. As sad as it was, it is also an awesome time to acknowledge again what God did through the life of one whom we know as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
Handy said the event will allow for attendees to hear first-hand details and accounts of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King's legacy. He said, given the recent social justice movements, the symposium will be timely and relevant.
"We do have a movement right now that's very much like the modern Civil Rights Movement several years ago," Handy said. "This is another opportunity to bridge the gap between our young people and the seniors who are here. Many of them are going to glory day-by-day. This is an opportunity for them to bridge that gap and learn from our senior people what it was like and now seeing the young people moving in a non-violent and appropriate way and fighting for justice and equality and what is righteous."
The symposium will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. The symposium will be followed by the opening reception for the King Art Exhibition, an exhibit focused on Dr. King featuring art by African-Americans. Naomi King, who was married to Dr. King's later brother A.D. King, will serve as the guest speaker for the opening reception.
The reception is from 6-8 p.m. at the National Center at 1345 Carter Hill Road.