De La Guerra Plaza was filled with the infectious enthusiasm of a rally in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. yesterday morning at 9 a.m.
Not only the man, but his residual principles were commemorated through music, skits, speeches, and a silent presentation performed by local children.
The themes featured through these mediums included forgiveness, peace, unity, hope, equality, and understanding.
One of the speakers urged the audience to “focus on these principles today in honor of Dr. King.”
With drums, clapping, dancing, a notably multi-racial crowd enthusiastically agreed to do just that.
After the rally, the celebration continued up State Street to the Arlington Theatre. The dancing and clapping proceeded throughout the entire jaunt, with cheery voices crooning “This Little Light of Mine” and “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”
The program at the Arlington held at 11 a.m. featured the Voices of Greater Hope Youth Choir, video presentations of Dr. King’s ministry, and a keynote address from Dr. Gloria Willingham, Provost and Senior Vice President of Fielding Graduate University.
The central theme of the event was “Retelling the Story.”
Essay and poetry contests were held beforehand, and the winners presented their pieces aloud in the program at the Arlington — paying homage to Dr. King with their creative retellings.
King, an iconic civil rights activist and Baptist minister was the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for his work to end racial segregation.
Assassinated in 1968, King’s legacy — as evidenced by yesterday’s events — lives on.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1986.
Monday’s festivities were put on by The Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara — a nonprofit organization.