By: Contributed Report | Twitter: @DinwiddieMonitr
Posted: September 23, 2019 | 1:45 p.m.
Civil rights advocate visited county nearly 60 years ago in March 1962
DINWIDDIE – In 2018 and 2019, more than fifty years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission is remembering his legacy and his influence in Virginia in a series of Community Conversations held in each of the locations across the state that Dr. King visited. The Commission will join community leaders, religious leaders, historians, educators, and members of the community to reexamine Dr. King’s time in the Commonwealth, reflect on his vision of a “Beloved Community” in that locality today, and ask, as Dr. King did in his final book, “Where do we go from here?” All events are free and open to the public.
The thirteenth Beloved Community Conversation in the series will take place at Mt. Level Baptist Church in Dinwiddie on September 30, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Commission Chair Senator Jennifer L. McClellan will moderate a panel discussion that includes Rev. Herbert Anderson, Pastor emeritus of Sharon Baptist Church; Dinwiddie School Board member Mary Benjamin; local NAACP chair Tyrone Coleman; District 5 Supervisor Brenda Ebron-Bonner; community activist Thomas Hooker; Virginia African American Advisory Board member Yvette Robinson; and Sharon Yates of Mt. Level Baptist Church. Delegate Lashrecse D. Aird will bring greetings. The program follows twelve events in the series held in Richmond, Charlottesville, Farmville, Williamsburg, Danville, Suffolk, Lynchburg, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg, and Hopewell, which were recorded and archived on the Commission’s website.
The roundtables are part of the Commission’s King in Virginia project, which is working to research, compile, and exhibit information on Dr. King’s visits to Virginia. The dozens of visits Dr. King made to the state include a March 28, 1962, visit to Dinwiddie during his People to People tour of Virginia, during which he visited and spoke at Mt. Level Baptist Church. Working with historians and researchers, as well as community members who have witnessed Dr. King’s influence in Virginia firsthand, the King in Virginia project is assembling an archive, made publicly and permanently accessible online, to document Dr. King’s time in Virginia.
Following the Dinwiddie event, a final King in Virginia event will take place at Virginia State University, with details to be announced as finalized.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, a statutory and bipartisan agency of the Virginia General Assembly, was created in 1992 by the General Assembly to honor the legacy of Dr. King through educational, historical and cultural programs, public policy analysis, and public discourse on contemporary issues. In addition to leading the Commonwealth’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, the Commission is also constructing the Emancipation Proclamation and Freedom Monument on Brown’s Island in Richmond, dedicated to the contributions of African American Virginians in the ongoing fight for freedom and civil rights.
For more on the Commission’s work, and for updates on the King in Virginia project, visit mlkcommission.dls.virginia.gov.