Celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

On Nov. 8, 1961, the legendary Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took up Rev. Samuel McKinney's offer to be a part of a lecture series in Seattle. McKinney and King had become friends at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

The 1961 lecture series was sponsored by the Brotherhood of Mount Zion Baptist Church and was held over two days in several locations, including at the University of Washington, Temple de Hirsch, Garfield High School and the Eagles Auditorium. It would be King's only visit to the Emerald City.

He was assassinated seven years later in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968. In April 2005, King County and Washington State lawmakers officially renamed the county in honor of the great civil rights leader.

The idea came from local journalist Shelby Scates, who suggested that the name change would stand as a symbol for justice and equality-ideas for which King fought hard.

This year Seattle is hosting several celebrations in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work.

Friday, Jan.12

"The Many Challenges and Accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr.," Bush School Diversity Speaker series with Tim Wise from 7-9 p.m. at the Bush School, New Gym, 3400 E. Harrison St. Wise is a nationally renowned anti-racist writer and activist. The event is free and open to the public. For information, call 326-7731 or e-mail eddie.moorejr@bush.edu.

Saturday, Jan. 13

The 8th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Hip Hop Show, 8 p.m. at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in the Theater, 4408 Delridge Way S.W. Presented by the Seattle Young People's Project, the program features local hip-hop artists Abyssinian Creole, 2012, Canary Sing, D-Black, Audio Poet and Scribes. Admission is $3 at the door, $2 with a canned food item. All ages. For information, call 860-9606 or e-mail info@sypp.org.

Sunday, Jan.14

"The Making of the Beloved Community" in honor of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 6 p.m. at the Rainier Avenue Free Methodist Church, 5900 Rainier Ave. S. (corner of Rainier and Juneau). Hear voices from the community, nation and world exploring what must be done to move King's vision of "the Beloved Community" from dream to reality. Enjoy gospel music. Reception to Follow.

Monday, Jan. 15

MLK Day Rally and March: Solidarity for Peace, Human Rights and Economic Justice-due to ongoing construction at Garfield High School, the location of this annual event is Franklin High School, 3013 Mount Baker Blvd. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. with workshops and an 11 a.m. rally in the school gym followed by a noon march. For information, call 812-4940 or visit www.mlkseattle.org.

Martin Luther King Day People's Celebration: "When peace was the prize," 2 p.m. at the Center House Pavilion, Seattle Center. The event features a community reading of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. It's free and open to the public. For more information, call 323-4032 or e-mail info@cd-forum.org.[[In-content Ad]]