On Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 3 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Saranac Lake, the Tri-Lakes will celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and continue his fight for economic justice. The Saranac Lake Ecumenical Council, local clergy, and dreamers of Dr. King’s dream are sponsoring this event. Dr. King’s efforts to achieve economic justice for all will be celebrated through his words and the music of the Civil Rights Movement.
There will be an eyewitness testimony from a local resident who worked alongside Cesar Chavez; excerpts from the Dr. King’s writings will be read, and the singing of music from the movement. A free will donation will be accepted to support Samaritan House, the Saranac Lake Ecumenical Council’s Homeless Shelter initiative. Afterward, refreshments will be served in the Great Hall.
It is well known that Martin Luther King, Jr. worked to end discrimination. He also had much to say about economic justice, regardless of color, stating “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself up by his own boot strings.” Participants at the celebration will hear Dr. King’s words on economic justice from his speech “The Other America”.
A local resident who worked with the United Farm Workers alongside Cesar Chavez during the earliest days of the farmworkers movement from 1975 – 1979 will share his experience. He worked in Boston, Toronto, and the Bay Area, at UFW headquarters in Keene, California and in the border town of Calexico.
Pete Seeger, who recently died at age 94, believed in the power of song to transform. He helped bring an adapted version of the gospel song, We Shall Overcome to the Civil Rights Movement. Pete used music to fight for social justice. Everyone will be invited to sing songs that Pete wrote or sang that helped power grassroots efforts to support people everywhere.
Photos: Above, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being attacked during a nonviolent march for the Chicago freedom movement in 1966; below, Pete Seeger’s banjo.