Monday marks what would have been the 88th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrations are already under way.
Today, Savannah’s Economic Opportunity Authority (EOA) held their 45th annual observance, joining together to celebrate diversity in remembrance of MLK.
“It was about Martin Luther King’s legacy– making certain that people never forget the struggles that were going on during that time and the changes that’s been so positive for our country and the world,” said Terry Tolbert, deputy director on the board.
They’ve been celebrating his life for 45 years now, even before it was a national holiday.
For many that attended today, it’s personal. “I could not drink from the fountain that had the cool water, I lived during that era,” said Ruby Lipscomb, chair person on the board of directors, “It’s very important that we continue to do this and to let our young people know about the struggles and about the opportunities that they have now.”
Each year, they honor MLK by honoring those that have similar dreams, including AME’s church shooting victim, Reverend Clementa Pinckney.
“Well he has served and he has served well and he hath given the ultimate sacrifice we shall never forget Reverend Clemente Pinckney,” said James Taylor with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who accepted Pinckney’s award on behalf of his wife.
EOA’s mission for the future is to focus on diversity. “The Native American Indian, the Asian, the Jew, the black,” said John Finney, EOA executive director, “Bringing everyone together regardless of race, creed and color.”