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SOMA PTA's Hold Successful MLK Day Celebration

Mauri Myers-Solages pens Patch Letter to the Editor recounting the SOMA PTA's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

1. Bruno Lee, trumpet soloist. Credit: Mauri Solages
1. Bruno Lee, trumpet soloist. Credit: Mauri Solages

Parents, students, and community leaders gathered at the South Orange Middle School, Monday, to celebrate the Third Annual MLK Day event hosted by the SOMSD Elementary School PTAs.

The morning began with kids reflecting on Dr. King’s legacy through various craft projects in which they were asked to create “Freedom Hand” cutouts and their own “Nobel Peace Prize” medallions.

The event was a community effort as the Rev. Sandye Wilson, pastor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in South Orange, emceed the event; local trumpet soloist Bruno Lee and the Columbia High School Chamber Choir serenaded the audience in musical selections; and a Maplewood dance troop, Inspirational Dance Company, performed an interpretive dance which incorporated Dr. King’s speeches. 

Olivia Brash, a fifth grade student from Tuscan, shared a moving essay on being the change you want to become based on her grandmother’s civil rights teachings. 

Coincidentally, Rev. Wilson recounted her life changing experience as a fifth grader in 1963 when she accompanied her father to the March on Washington.

The program also featured an inspiring lecture from author and activist Jamal Joseph and interactive skit by Greg Kenney, both of whom reminded the audience how important it is to dream and have a vision in order to truly honor Dr. King’s legacy.

The event closed as the Columbia High School Chamber Choir led everyone in song with the Black national anthem written by James Weldon Johnson, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Mauri Myers-Solages
Clinton Elementary PTA and MLK Day event committee member

Jim Corcoran January 22, 2014 at 11:45 AM
"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right." ~ Martin Luther King Jr. MLK would have taken this next step, just as his wife Coretta and son Dexter did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6ehL18rqlM?

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