News and Tribune

January 20, 2014

Legacy of a King: New Albany remembers life of MLK

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — The crowd swayed and clapped in unity as the University of Louisville Black Diamond Choir sang hymns and embraced the crowd.

It was the kind of celebration that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would likely have been proud of, and more than 125 people gathered in New Albany on Monday to remember the life of the late Civil Rights activist in a show of solidarity.

The Community Celebration of Unity was hosted by the New Albany Parks Department and held at the Griffin Street/Kathy Wilkerson Recreation Center. White and black, young and old, women and men — the event brought people from all races and genders in honor of King.  

Community leaders spoke about King’s vision and legacy, and the Black Diamond Choir sang three songs as the highlight of the evening.

Several city and county officials attended the ceremony including Mayor Jeff Gahan.

King was an inspiration to those who believe in unity, and his life provided the example of how to peacefully push for equality, Gahan said.

“We have learned so much from him,” he said.

Gahan mentioned King’s famous “I have a Dream” speech and how it impacted America. King was a bright and determined leader who was taken far too soon, he continued.

“It’s an honor to be here tonight to remember him,” Gahan said.

New Albany Parks Assistant Director Kathy Wilkerson said several programs were held locally this year to honor King, and that people have the responsibility to pass on his legacy.

“It’s a story that goes on and on, and it needs to be remembered year after year,” she said.