King's legacy lives through music - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

King's legacy lives through music

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January 20, 2003

Albany- "He may be dead and gone, but his dream lives on..." These are words sang during one of the performances at the 2003 King Celebration. Music led the program, who's theme was Singing and the Power of Song.

"Singing and the power of song was what led the Civil Rights movement in Albany, Georgia. The singers in Albany, Georgia were instrumental in the successes that we had here, and those songs were worldwide," explains King Committee Co-chairman, Michael Rogers.

Many of the songs sang at the event carried the message of hope and brotherhood, something Dr. King reinforced through his messages. Living by those messages is something Governor Sonny Perdue says all Georgians, including himself should do.

"I think to honor him is to honor the message. He called us to not just be hearers of the word, but doers of the word, and that's what he wants us to do is to take those values that we talk about, love and mercy, justice and equality and to make those reality. I think the governor has a lot to do with those things," says Governor Sonny Perdue.

Even recipients of awards given in Dr. King's honor echo words of hope and unity spoken by the late civil right's leader. "It shouldn't just be a white church or black church. Everybody should feel welcome and wanted. That was the message of the gospel, and I think that was the message Dr. King was trying to get across," says Reverend Michael Catt, recipient of the Unity Award.

"We realize that that was a man with a dream, and we feel like that our mission at the Ritz Cultural Center is designed to help children with their dreams," adds Earnest Benson, President of the Ritz's Board of Directors. The center was given the beneficiary award, which means they will receive all the proceeds from the event.

Whether it's through music or actions the celebration was not only a time to celebrate a man, but to continue a legacy.

Over four decades ago, King was arrested in here Albany. King was assassinated in 1968 after giving a speech in support of a sanitation workers strike. He would have been 74 years old.

Posted at 11:00 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com