Queens to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

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The legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a beacon of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, will be celebrated throughout Queens from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15.

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Saturday at 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Honorees will include Paul Coty and Kenny Carter for outstanding community service, according to the center.

Expected to be in attendance are Jessica Douglas, Queens borough director; Jacques Leandre, president of the Rosedale Jets football team; and Dance Explosion founder Adrienne Strother-Brown.

Also expected to attend the are Carl Clay, founder of Black Spectrum Theater, and the Rev. Phil Craig of Greater Springfield Community Church.

Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Grammy-nominated African-American all-female a cappella group, will assemble at Queens College for its fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Flushing on Sunday.

The quartet consists of Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, Nitanju Bolade Casel and Aisha Kahlil. Sweet Honey is known for its blues, gospel and spoken word performances about black history and culture, according to the group’s website.

Hazel N. Dukes, the president of the NAACP New York State Conference, will be the honoree of the night, according to Queens College.

Dukes will be honored for using her platform at the NAACP for furthering King’s work. She will receive an award from Jackie Arrington-Pinkard from the Greater Queens Chapter of The Links, an international not-for-profit consisting of professional women who volunteer their time to better their communities.

Public Advocate Letitia James will deliver the keynote address at the event.

“Queens College has long been committed to creating a community of diversity and equality, characteristics emblematic of Dr. King’s life work,” James said. “As we continue our efforts to move our society forward, we must spread Dr. King’s message of love and inclusion.”

The celebration will be held at the school’s Colden Auditorium of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, at 153-49 Reeves Ave.

The Rev. Valerie Oliver-Durrah of Brooklyn Bethany Baptist Church will moderate a Martin Luther King Jr. Day program for Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) on Monday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, at 153-10 Jamaica Ave.

Both the national anthem and the black national anthem will be sung, according to a spokesman for Miller. The Edge School of the Arts will perform a dance, and there will be a saxophone solo by Khaled Jean. A string quartet by LaGuardia High School will also perform.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
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