Alaskans celebrate life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Alaskans celebrate life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:43 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The celebrations honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday’s federal holiday in his remembrance continue to call for peace, justice, and equality.

The Alaska Black Caucus presented a cultural celebration at Bettye Davis East Anchorage High school. As the first annual “I Have A Dream” solidarity celebration, the event included themes of unity, inclusiveness, and equity, as well as the inspiration and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his contributions to the world.

“(This) event is something that’s so needed in this country, even in Alaska,” President and CEO of the Alaska Black Caucus Celeste Hodge Growden said. “It’s is an opportunity to come together as a community in unity, in love, in solidarity to showcase Dr. King’s dream.”

Performers represented many different cultural and community groups across Anchorage — some drumming, dancing, singing, and some reciting portions of the “I have a dream” speech.

“Dr. King wanted us to all celebrate together, and we have the most wonderful, diverse, and beautiful attendance in the room tonight,” NAACP Secretary Cheryl Cox Williams said.

“We have so many different community groups, cultural groups coming out to participate in this program today, just so we can learn from one another and grow as a community together,” Growden added.

The gathering brought people together to honor and celebrate the community, its progress, and its future. Even Star Hunter, Miss Alaska Teen USA 2023, joined the celebration and said that King would be proud of current events.

“You know everybody is knowing his name, learning his name, and everybody is out doing the best that they can and showing their integrity and ambition and why they’re here,” Hunter said.

Many of King’s visions relied on a “principled group of people coming together to solve any social issue, division or struggle,” Growden said, adding that she sees a wider, greater, and more united community come to fruition each day.

“To learn from one another, and to showcase love to each other and to bring our community together because really we are one,” Growden said.