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Kentuckians Remember King's Legacy

2018 marks 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. (National Park Service)
2018 marks 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. (National Park Service)
January 15, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., and his life and legacy are being honored Monday around Kentucky.

Events include volunteer projects, prayer breakfasts, church services, lectures and film screenings.

Carl Nathe, an information officer at the University of Kentucky, says in Lexington, there will be an annual Freedom March and program to celebrate King's work for racial justice and equality.

"Thousands of people are expected in downtown Lexington,” Nathe states. “The roots of this commemoration and celebration started at the University of Kentucky in 1973 and has grown into this joint celebration between the University of Kentucky and the City of Lexington."

The MLK Day holiday celebrating King’s birthday is also a national day of service, and earlier this month in Frankfort, the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Commission recognized youth and adult leaders who continue the slain civil right's leader's work through personal service, art and writing.

Nathe says King taught through his examples, and the holiday celebrates his values of courage, trust, compassion, dignity and humility.

At the program in Lexington, he says participants will hear from anti-racism activist and writer Tim Wise, who will speak about this year's theme of Dr. King's Vision in an Age of Betrayal.

"The theme is trying to make sure that the program is relevant to the times we're living in today,” Nathe states. “That's always been the goal, and Tim Wise's life and work has always been around the issue of race and helping us in America better understand the central role that race plays in our lives."

King was killed April 4, 1968. A federal holiday honoring him was declared in 1983.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY