Right up until the final minutes, organizers of the 1963 March on Washington were busy. The March brought Americans of all races, regions, and religions to Washington, D.C. in one of the most historic moments in the Civil Rights Movement. It’s been 54 years since Dr. Martin Luther King addressed the crowd of thousands with his “I Have a Dream” speech.
On Monday, August 28, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. from the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol, Arkansas leaders will join the nation in remembering the 54th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Leaders from across Arkansas led by three social justice advocates with more than 100 years of carrying the MLK torch will share plans for the newly organized, Arkansas MLK50 Faith-based Commemoration Coalition. Next year marks 50 years after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
During a time when hate is at an all-time high and love is at an all-time low, organizers will offer prayers of peace and non-violence for the state and for the nation. They will also announce plans for the Inaugural Arkansas Exclusive MLK Holiday and the 50-year Commemoration (1968-2018). A similar gathering will be held in Washington, D.C. on Monday at the MLK Memorial with a 1000-person Clergy March.
Governor Asa Hutchinson ushered in a new appreciation for the work of Dr. King by encouraging Arkansas lawmakers to pass legislation separating a federal holiday to celebrate King from a longstanding Arkansas observance of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee. Hutchinson was presented the MLK Exclusive Holiday Bible which was dedicated as a spiritual symbol of his leadership. The bible will be read publicly for the first time from the State Capitol in January at the MLK Holiday 2018. Events leading up to January will be announced on Monday at the press conference.
Rev. Arthur Hunt is the Senior Pastor of Hunt Memorial Cathedral of Faith. He is also the founder of the College Aspiring Artists. Hunt worked with the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to organize events leading up to the first federal holiday recognizing Dr. King. He is currently involved in the creation of a Commemorative Bible including essays the explore Dr. King’s social justice work through the prism of his pastoral tradition.