Local News


Posted January 15, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— His message echoed Thursday in schools and churches, and even in the most unenlightened corners of the nation.

The "official" Martin Luther King Holiday is this Monday. His actual birthday was four days earlier. While there are events all weekend, there weren't many on the fifteenth. But, leaders at Shaw University believe King's birthday is important. When you're trying to teach a generation that knows him only from history, it's important to nail the details.

By the time Steve Corley was born, Martin Luther King had been dead for nine years. Of course, Steve and his classmates at Shaw know about him. But, unlike their parents, they didn't know him.

And that, says Shaw president Talbert Shaw, makes all the difference. As reinforcing as celebrations like Thursday's are, they can't convey a sense of what Civil Rights was like.

At their best, celebrations aren't once-a-year sermons to be endured. They reinforce what students already know. It ensures that the name Martin Luther King will always be more than a name written on a street sign.

There are events all weekend surrounding Martin Luther King, Junior's birthday.

Friday morning at 11:30 there will be a candlelight vigil on Duke's West Campus. Monday at 11 a.m., there will be a "Cultural Carnival" at UNC-Chapel Hill's Student Union.

In Raleigh, a march leaves the State Capitol at 11:30 a.m. And, at 7 p.m. Monday, there will be an evening of music at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium.