Albany Civil Rights Institute hosts first King Day - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Civil Rights Institute hosts first King Day

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South Georgians gathered to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Monday at a place that celebrates the work he did in Albany.

The newly renovated Albany Civil Rights Institute hosted its first King Day Celebration. Organizers say Dr. King energized the Albany movement when he came to fight for civil rights in southwest Georgia.

The celebration continues at the Albany Civic center. That's where WALB News Ten's Jennifer Emert starts our team coverage of MLK Day events.

The theme is keeping the faith in the fight, and while the fight isn't about equality today, it's about jobs. That's why they've brought Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond to Albany the NAACP said it's a fight Dr. King would have joined.

More than 100 voices joined at the Albany Civil Rights Institute to remember civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and how he joined Albany's movement just when the fight for desegregation was slowing.

"That's when Dr. Anderson the President of the movement called on Dr. King to come down and give us a shot in the arm which he certainly did," Dr. Lee Formwalt, Director of the Albany Civil Rights Institute.

Organizers explained we need to remember, celebrate, and continue to act on King's behalf. Gloria Wiggins moved from New York to Albany for love and found herself speaking out while working for C. B. King, who fought to free jailed freedom fighters.

"They thought that he was too outspoken even though most of them didn't know what he was saying anyway because he had an extensive vocabulary," said Gloria Wiggins.

Candles were lit representing what King stood for, love, hope, faith, justice, freedom, and peace. Alice Hatcher wasn't involved in Albany's movement, but wanted to participate today, speaking about justice.

"He wanted everybody to be treated equally in all walks of life," said Alice Hatcher.

It's a fight Albany Civil Rights Institute leaders say continues today.

"The African American Freedom struggle is central to the movement no question about it, but it's impacted many other kinds of people," said Formwalt.

Rev. H. C. Boyd encouraged the crowd to continue to make that impact and like King continue to dream.

They've sold about 81 tables for tonight's event, that isn't a complete sell out, and they will still be selling tickets at the door.

All the proceeds from tonight's event go to benefit the Albany Civil Rights Institute.

If you can't make it out for the event we hope you'll tune into WALB from 7:00 to 7:30 to hear from Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond who will be the keynote speaker at tonight's King Day celebration Dinner.