MLK Family: Musical Tribute: “There’s a Message in the Music!”

MLK Family: Musical Tribute: “There’s a Message in the Music!”

For Immediate Release140116 blog image

Contact: Eugene Vigil
470-244-3302 or

Atlanta, GA – The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change invites us to Join The King Center and a concerto of partners on Friday, January 17, 2014 for “A Tribute to the Movement: Messages in the Music.” Admission is free.

The event begins at 8:00pm at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Horizon Sanctuary. Come and celebrate with King Center. Inc., The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, The King Family Legacy Foundation, The MLK March Committee, Awspire Entertainment Group and Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in a special event acknowledging Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s journey of Civil Rights in America and his 50 year legacy as a recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

The lineup with MC Twanda Black of KISS-104 includes famed gospel singer Lydia Pace, Grammy Award Winner Vernessa Mitchell, Dance Makers of Atlanta, MLK Re enactor Stephon Ferguson, Apostle Darryl Winston and Inner Court, Jean Childs Young Dance Troup, Jarrett Ellis, Michael Barnes, Alexis Cierra, Kathy Bertrand, Teresa Olison, Chosen Vessels Dance Company, God’s Girls, Rev. Ben Marshall, David Hammond, Farris Watkins, FLY, Dr. Gregory A. McPhearson, and Sam Collier.

“This program is a celebration of music, poetry, spoken word, liturgical dance and other art forms of expression with emphasis on the long-standing Civil Rights history struggle for equality,” says National Park Service officer Robert Parker.

“The musical tribute aims to entertain and educate the general public on the importance of “meaning” and “messages” in music connected to historical and contemporary social movements in America,” said Grammy recipient Christopher Capehart of Awspire Music. Chris produced several of the songs for the program, including the Re-Mix of “LET FREEDOM RING,” from the original song written by Dr. Alveda King. Other Awspire songs performed by ICONIC JOURNEY DURING KING WEEK include COME TOO FAR, and AMERICA RECOVERS written with Oga Otamala.

“Throughout the modern day struggle for social change in America during the 1950’s and 60’s songs were used as a universal language that unified groups of individuals and focused their energy,” said King Center Board member Dr. Alveda King.

Event Co-chairperson and niece of Dr. MLK, Dr. Angela Farris Watkins added: “Singing inspired people at church meetings, sit-ins, marches, and other nonviolent demonstrations, and gave activists the courage to keep protesting in the face of serious danger from the opposition.

King Center CEO Dr. Bernice King said: “My father and other leaders and indeed the masses would often pray and then burst into song creating an atmosphere of hope in the midst of terror and confusion. Like Paul and Silas when they were bound in jail, Daddy knew that praise and worship was a powerful weapon for use in the battle.”

“Commonly, the songs chosen for these purposes were traditional hymns and spirituals with adapted lyrics that had several layers of meaning but expressed one consistent underlying message: a desire for freedom from racial prejudice, Said MLK March Organizer Jamida Orange, daughter of civil rights activists the late Rev. James Orange and his wife Cleo. “This event seeks to challenge this and future generations to continue to utilize music and the arts as a form of expression conveying significant meaning to the masses to combat racism and injustices with messages of peace and equality.”

“There is an old saying. We can’t all talk together, but we can all sing together. I hope that this tribute will pave the way for more victories in nonviolent conflict resolution. Indeed, let freedom ring in our songs and in our music,” she said. Ms. King added “On the national King Holiday, January 20, please join our “Let Freedom Ring: Choose Nonviolence” call to action for people all over the world. We are asking everyone to join in ringing bells as a symbol of their commitment to choosing nonviolence as a lifestyle; and to observe a moratorium on violence for the entire King Holiday, with “No Shots Fired.” This includes not firing with your tongue (violent speech), your fists, or guns.”

M s. King said that the King Center is also challenging young people to participate in the “100 Days of Nonviolence” campaign from January 15 through April 24, a “time to plant and nurture the seeds of a nonviolent world community, starting with our own lives.”

For more information, please visit after January 1, 2014.


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