Happy New Year friends and fam! I really hope 2017 has started off well for you. I’ll be honest, 2016 had its many ups and downs. And I mean some really big downs, but God is good and his grace is mighty. I am happy to be amongst the living, so here we go!
I want to start off saying it’s January, a very special month and we will look to celebrate an amazing person! Me! My birthday is on the 27th, I’ll be accepting gifts and well wishes :-). Cheers to all the Aquarians out there!
On a serious note, we will be celebrating the legacy and life of Martin Luther King, Jr. A man that wasn’t perfect, but with all his heart believed in the life and liberty of his people. For us to be treated equally and respected as men and women. For people of all shapes and sizes to have the same rights created under the United States’ Constitution.
Let’s keep it real. This is not happening for all people of all shapes and sizes right now. We are seeing similar images that were taken during the Civil Rights Movement, right now! We are still fighting and dying for our right to just BE. (Shout out to the homie Keith Camp and his brand, Just BE.You).
Myself, I have a hard time understanding the hatred around race and differences. What I do love is how hip hop can be the cornerstone of all of those differences and expressions. I just wanted to drop that in here because I love hip hop culture! But I digress, there are a few things in our City of Columbus, Ohio that will be happening on January 16th in celebration of this man of magnitude.
If you’ve already purchased tickets then you are set for the 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Breakfast at the Greater Columbus Convention Center – Battelle Grand Ballroom. This year’s speaker is the honorable Michael B. Coleman, the first African-American to serve as the mayor of Ohio’s capital city and the longest serving mayor in Columbus history from 2000-2015. Doors open at 7:00 a.m. Tickets are only available in advance and will not be sold at the door.
Following the MLK Day Breakfast, you should find yourself at the MLK Open House hosted by the King Art Complex! This free community event begins at noon and is family friendly. Halle Bird (me) will again be selling commemorative shirts in honor of Dr. King and the City of Columbus’ legacy! (Yay!) Partial proceeds will go back to the King Art Complex. The keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Susan Smith.
Many of you will also be looking to join in on the annual march as well. The Annual MLK March will begin at the King Art Complex at 4:45 p.m. No worries, I’ve checked the weather for you and it’s looking much warmer than last year! 50 degrees with a few scattered showers. Bring your umbrella, purchase a t-shirt, toss it on and march in his memory. Show our community that we still believe and in light of the inevitable inauguration, let us show our still president of these United States that we believe! That we can lace up our boots and organize as one.
I don’t know about you, but I was a ball of tears inside during his farewell speech. These memes speak the truth to our true feelings. “Don’t GO!”
Okay, wipe your tears – let me finish. There will be a myriad of events and community service throughout the city on January 16th. Universities, non-profits and for-profits will be engaged in making this a day ON and not a day OFF. I implore you to do the same! Please take the time out to recognize that though we may not be exactly where we think we should be, that many many people fought and died for the progress that we do have now.
Fear is what tears us apart, be brave, be confident and let’s continue that progression. Always forward, never backward.
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stay Woke My Friends,
To learn more about Halle, check out her bio.
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