Merrick Park congregants and local leaders celebrated "The Man, The Dream, The Celebration" in honor of King, who was nationally recognized Monday, at the church, saying his message of equality for all people is as important today as it was during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s."This is a celebration about life and prosperity and about Martin Luther King, who sacrificed his life so we can be here today," said master of ceremony Michael McCray. "1968 was not the end of the Civil Rights Movement. We have to continue the fight and the struggle."Tri-Boro, which was founded in 1996, is an outreach program for at-risk youths and seniors.Speakers at the event included the church's pastor, Curtis G. Norton, Tri-Boro founder Martha Saxon, City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and Pastor Ronald Simpkins, of Jamaica's Freewheel Missionary Baptist Church. "Martin Luther King made a quest for all people," Simpkins said. "He did not wait for the boat to come in. He stressed peace and humanity for all humankind and was a man full of integrity and wisdom."The main branch of the Queens Library in Jamaica also celebrated the life of the civil rights leader on Saturday. The branch screened "Martin Luther King Jr.: A Man and His Dream," a documentary, and library personnel led a discussion and workshop, following the film. The Immaculate Conception High School Honor Choir performed a musical tribute to King at the library at the event, which also included poetry readings and a dance presentation.Other borough neighborhoods also celebrated Martin Luther King Day during the holiday weekend. The Flushing Library presented a concert in honor of King Sunday, while Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) joined local residents Monday near the GEO Detention Center, which is one 150th Avenue in Springfield Gardens, to protest the center's location in the neighborhood in honor of King's spirit of protest.Flushing's Macedonia AME Church also celebrated the holiday, while the Lost Battalion Hall Recreational Center in Rego Park held a civil rights fair, both on Monday.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2007 Community News Group
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