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 Constance Harris sings along to “Amazing Grace” at Hope United Methodist Church during the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. This year’s celebration is slated for Jan. 20.

Constance Harris sings along to “Amazing Grace” at Hope United Methodist Church during the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. This year’s celebration is slated for Jan. 20.

File photo by Sean Work


Annual MLK celebration returns Jan. 20 to Southfield

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published January 15, 2020

 Members of the Levey Middle School band perform at a ceremony following the Peace Walk inside the Southfield Pavilion.

Members of the Levey Middle School band perform at a ceremony following the Peace Walk inside the Southfield Pavilion.

File photo by Sean Work

SOUTHFIELD/LATHRUP VILLAGE — The annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will return to Southfield for its 35th year Jan. 20.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, along with the city of Southfield, will host the Peace Walk Celebration beginning at 9 a.m. at Hope United Methodist Church, 26275 Northwestern Highway.

The peace walk will depart from the church at 9:30 a.m. and head to the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road, for an 11 a.m. program.

Community Relations Director Michael Manion said in a news release that the theme of the celebration this year is “Community in Action,” which will celebrate Southfield’s history of cultural and religious diversity, inclusion and engagement.

The program will feature a keynote address by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, along with remarks from Mayor Ken Siver, MLK Task Force President Roger Goolsby and MLK Task Force founder Barbara Talley.

Goolsby said the theme of this year’s celebration is centered around the legacy of King’s commitment to involvement in his community.

“Dr. King brought the community together to help create social change, and we also need to come together as a community — not just Southfield, but communities in general — if we want to see any changes made,” Goolsby said. “We are going to galvanize. We need to step it up a notch, basically, in our education and how we treat each other.”

The Southfield Police and Fire departments honor guards will present the colors, and cantor David Gloff will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Officials said other performances and special presentations will be made by local students and school groups, including the Levey Middle School Jaguars marching band.

“The theme ‘Community in Action’ is reminiscent of the 32 Southfield residents who came together in 1985 to form a peace walk and program to remind us of those involved in the civil rights movement, many of whom walked and died for peace, justice and equality for all people,” Talley said in a prepared statement. “Thirty-five years later, Southfield residents and guests from all over metro Detroit will walk and continue to keep the dream alive.”

Talley said Southfield’s celebration is the oldest and largest of its kind in Michigan.

For more information, call the MLK Task Force hotline at (248) 924-9MLK or visit mlktaskforcemi.org.

In celebration of King’s birthday, in Lathrup Village, there will be a free movie at noon, followed by a celebration of King 2-4 p.m., inside the Community Room at Lathrup Village City Hall, 27400 Southfield Road. The free event will feature food and entertainment, organizers said.