Harry Belafonte tribute part of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration in Lewisburg
Beginning at 11 a.m. on Jan. 19, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day commemorative march, community lunch, and celebration program will take place in Lewisburg. The march will be from the Greenbrier County Courthouse to the Lewisburg United Methodist Church via Washington Street. Right after the march, a free community lunch catered by The Bakery will be served. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a program in the church sanctuary to celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. King and other champions of civil rights.
A special part of the program will be a tribute to singer, actor, and civil rights movement stalwart, Harry Belafonte, which will be led by his daughters, Adrienne Biesemeyer of Alderson, and Gina Belafonte of New York, NY. Previously, he has received the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts as well as many other awards. Two months ago, Belafonte was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Parts of the biographical movie, Sing Your Song, will be shown during that tribute, and the whole 90-minute movie will be seen in high definition at the Lewis Theatre for free at 4:30 p.m. the same day. Gina Belafonte was one of the film’s producers.
The theme for this year’s celebration comes from the last sentence of Dr. King’s Noble Peace Prize acceptance speech “…the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.” Martin Luther King Day Essay Contest winners will be featured in the program. Students at Lewisburg Elementary School and Greenbrier Episcopal School have written essays based on the theme. Theme-related Art work by students at Crichton Elementary, Rainelle Elementary, and Greenbrier Episcopal schools will be displayed.
The African Drum Ensemble of the Greenbrier Academy for Girls in Pence Springs will perform in the church sanctuary as people enter, and there will be a presentation by High Rocks for Girls, a frequent participant in the celebration program. Vickie Roane will furnish the piano accompaniment for the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome.”
Questions about the event may be directed to Larry Davis at 304-645-6919. Donations in support of the Martin Luther King Day Celebration may be made at the event or mailed to the MLK Committee c/o Child Youth Advocacy Center, 212 W. Washington Street, Lewisburg, WV 24901.