By Lee Hubbard
There will be a host of festivities in San Francisco commemorating Dr. King on Monday, Jan. 16. One of these will be the M.L. King, Jr., Birthday celebration at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
This event is supported by the Freedom Train from San Jose to San Francisco on the Caltrain line. When the train arrives at the Cal Train station at 4th and Townsend, participants will march across the 4th Street Bridge to Third Street across Lefty O’Doul Bridge for a brief ceremony at Willie Mays Plaza. They will continue to Yerba Buena Center at Third and Howard streets.
“We want to provide the San Francisco community and the region a place to celebrate Dr. King and his message in a wholesome way and a way that will benefit everyone,” said Aaron Grizzell, the Executive Director of the Northern California Martin Luther King Community Foundation.
“Our theme this year is renewing the dream. We believe that all communities can embrace Dr. King’s vision of community and service,” he said.
At Yerba Buena center, celebrants will have a choice of taking part in an interfaith ceremony or a children’s program in the Novellus Theatre. There will be a host of other activities, free to the public, ranging from the Liberation film festival to the Target Children’s reading festival.
There will also be a Health and Sustainability Festival. Museums in the area, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Museum of the African Diaspora, will be open free to youth.
At the Liberation Film Festival, a showing of the documentary film “Double Victory” will be screened. The documentary tells the story of the heroes of World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, “We are very happy to be partnering with Lucas Films, to screen this film. We are also elated to be interviewing one of the Tuskegee Airmen at the event,” Grizzell said.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, a MLK celebration brunch will take place at Bethel AME church, 916 Laguna St. at Browning Fellowship Hall.
The “Taking Back Responsibility II” Martin Luther King, Jr., Brunch will begin at 11 a.m.. The event will feature honorees who work with young people. The keynote speaker is Dr. Lakita Long, Founder of Inspiring You Ministries, an organization designed to help youth become mobilized for action.
Some honorees include Pastor Malcolm Byrd, Sr., Pastor of First AME Zion in San Francisco; the Bay Area chapter of the 100 Black Men of America; the San Francisco Organizing Project; Ugonma Nwanko, first African American female elected class president of Galileo High School; Tracy Bowers, former Conference Branch head of the Young Peoples Division of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and Urcell Igleheart, an emerging youth leader.
There will be musical guests performing at the brunch, including gospel artists from all around the Bay Area.
By Lee Hubbard