A packed lineup awaits Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrants tonight at Merrill Auditorium in the next part of what has been a packed holiday weekend already thus far. Tonight’s event is scheduled to begin with a video of Dr. King himself delivering his “Drum Major Instinct” sermon, followed by a drumming performance by Batimbo Beat.
Listen to this to hear that sermon:
University of New England students are next up in the Merrill lineup with spoken word performances, followed by Pihcintu Multinational Children’s Chorus, which I wrote about earlier this month in this blog.
Women In Harmony and the Music Ministry of Green Memorial AME Zion Church round out the agenda. Masters of ceremony for the MLK Day event are Linda Abwoch, Dennis Ross Jr. and the Rev. Jeff McIlwain.
The whole thing gets kicked off at 6 p.m., and tickets to get in are listed at $6.
The holiday weekend events started off yesterday with a community dialogue at the Preble Street Resource Center, followed by a march — led by local NAACP representatives and members of OccupyMaine — to draw attention to how far we still have to go in terms of race and economic equality.
Rachel Talbot Ross, head of the Portland chapter of the NAACP, said this to WCSH 6:
It’s unfortunate that we’re still fighting for the same rights, the same human rights that Dr. King did, and many others, when they were alive. Because very little has actually changed. The thin lines between the middle class, the working poor, and being in poverty is just ever-shifting, and we need to continue to fight every day around high quality life for all the human rights.
A 7 a.m. NAACP breakfast was scheduled to take place this morning at Holiday Inn By the Bay. Tomorrow in the same location, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Abukar Adan, Jocelyn Thomas and former state House Speaker Glenn Cummings will lead a talk titled “What does equity look like in Maine?”