NC state employees' honor King's life, legacy
Posted January 16, 2015
RALEIGH, N.C. — This year's observance honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by North Carolina state workers had a renewed focus on music and words and their influence on the civil rights movement.
Gov. Pat McCrory and the son of the late historian John Hope Franklin addressed the midday Friday service held at First Baptist Church on South Wilmington Street near the old Capitol.
The theme of the program: "The Civil Rights Movement in Words and Music: From Slavery to Freedom."
"In honoring Dr. King, we wish to honor the heritage of music and words that has sustained generations and offered a powerful building block toward understanding," McCrory said in a statement.
The North Carolina Arts Council and state African American Heritage Commission helped organize the program, which includes the Bennett College and Shaw University choirs and musicians from the longtime North Carolina-based jazz group The Monitors.
John W. Franklin of the National Museum of African American History and Culture planned the keynote address.
Earlier Friday, a replica of the Liberty Bell in downtown Raleigh's Bicentennial Plaza rang in memory of King's life and legacy. Each ring marked a decade since King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.
"The ringing of the Liberty Bell is a reminder of the drum major Dr. Martin Luther King marching to the beat of reminding people that America will always look like the content of the character of its people," Clarence Henderson, chairman of North Carolina's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, said.