MLK celebration honors two

Published 8:04 pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

Two Suffolk men will be honored during the annual Suffolk City-Wide Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Monday.

Former councilman Leroy Bennett and Better Man Coalition representative Geoffrey Outlaw will receive the Suffolk Community Service Award and the I Have a Dream Award, respectively.

The celebration will include a full program of honors, music and guest speakers.

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The Rev. Dr. Mark Croston of East End Baptist Church, where the event will be held, encourages everyone to come.

“It’s to celebrate the progress that’s been made in our society as a whole as we seek to achieve the American dream,” he said. “It’s a great day, because it’s a time to appreciate people for the work they’ve been doing.”

The federal holiday marks the birthday of the civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968. In his most famous speech, King declared, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Croston said the event aims to remember King’s dream and keep it alive. This year’s celebration will include a broadcast of the inaugural ceremonies for President Barack Obama.

“His presence symbolizes some of those achievements of Martin Luther King’s dream, as well,” Croston said.

The ceremony will include greetings from City Attorney Helivi Holland, musical selections by the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church Choir and a praise dance by Shakina Teel and the Shekinah Glory Praise Dance Ministry.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the church, 523 E. Washington St.