Natchez continues to honor Dr. KingPublished 12:05am Sunday, January 12, 2014
Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday celebration began in Natchez in 1986 with the organization of the Dr. King parade.
Each year since then, the branch hosts the parade on the official Dr. King day. Originally, a church program was hosted on Sunday, the day before the holiday.
It was eventually phased out and replaced with the Dr. King Awards Banquet, hosted the night before the holiday.
For many years, the banquet was chaired by Katie R. Moose, an NAACP long-distance runner.
This year, Mary Lee Toles, NAACP Life member, and Jacqueline Marsaw, branch secretary, chair respectively, the banquet and the annual parade.
Program participants will include attorney Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP State Conference, and Alice Thomas Tisdale, publisher of the Jackson Advocate.
Awards will be given to outstanding NAACP workers who contribute to advance Dr. King’s dream and continue to work to fulfill the NAACP’s mission.
There is no admission to participate in the parade.
Those wishing to enter and to be present to line up at 1:30 p.m. are encouraged to call Jacqueline Marsaw at 601-443-3630.
A donation of $20 is asked for each ticket to the banquet on Jan. 19.
When asked about the upcoming Dr. King holiday, Natchez NAACP President, the Rev. Clifton Marvel, summed up his thoughts by saying, “It is very important for us, as African Americans, to continue the traditions and legacies passed down from our predecessors, beneficial to us as a liberated and thankful people.”
We continue to work for “one Nation — our Dream.”
Mary Lee Toles of Natchez is a Adams County Justice Court judge.