Through the generosity of the Alternative Truth Project and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse our community was invited to the Pump House to attend a reading of ” Dr. King’s Call for Justice- Are We Still Listening? ” directed by Keith Belzer and compiled by Ron Malzer and Denise Christy-Moss.
Through research of Dr. King’s past speeches and library books we heard about Atlanta’s bright Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. graduating high school at 15, Morehouse College at 19 and finishing his doctorate with a marriage proposal to 26 year old Marion, Alabama born Coretta Scott, an Antioch graduate and New England Conservatory voice major in Boston.
There was no denying the chemistry Ms. Scott felt to the serious man dedicated to his religion along with a desire to change society. Four children may have kept Coretta Scott King at home but she shared her husband’s life work although she didn’t always receive the invitations to accompany him nor share his incarceration.
Below is a snippet of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s timeline:
*1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott
*1957 president elect of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
*1963 Birmingham Non Violent Civil Rights work, jailed due to no permit
* Late 1963: March for Jobs and Freedom also known as “March on Washington” with 200,000 + others , asking for that ‘Promissory’ note to be paid
*1964 Nobel Peace Prize recipient
*1965 Led the Selma to Montgomery March for Voting rights.
* 1965-68 Economic emphasis added to agenda “Poor Peoples Campaign”
*April 1968, to be speaker at Memphis, Tennessee’s Mason Temple. Dr. King was assassinated after papers leaked his change from the ‘luxury’ Holiday Inn to the Black owned Lorraine Motel
*Late 1968, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, founded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. Coretta Scott King continued his legacy and to make his birthday a national holiday which happened in ’83.
Coretta King’s script were mostly from two memoirs “My Life with Martin Luther King Jr.” ’93 and “Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy,” published posthumously in 2017.
After her husband’s death in ’68 she ‘took on the struggle for racial equality leadership’ and became very active in the Women’s movement, advocating for LGBT rights and apartheid.
We were looking forward to the post reading Q & A but some football game cut our time short…
The audience was also introduced to Rev. Dr. Calvin Morris, a former director of the King Center who spent time with Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young and MLK in addition to many of the King family. Dr. Morris will be giving tomorrow’s invocation at La Crosse’s MLK Jr. Celebration at 7pm in the Viterbo Fine Arts Center on Jackson Street.
‘Free will’ donations in lieu of tickets sales will go to B.L.A.C.K. (Black Leaders Acquiring Collective Knowledge) whose mission is to help the La Crosse Black Community be elevated and empowered. The monies will go towards a Southern Civil Rights trip for middle and high school aged students of color.