MLK Community Park

Martin Luther King Jr. will be honored during a wreath laying event on Sunday.

Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference will sponsor their eighth M.L. King Jr. Wreath Laying Observance at 1 p.m. Sunday at the MLK Community Park, Wyche and Virginia streets in Roanoke Rapids.

Members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. will have the honor of placing the wreath in memory of their esteemed fraternity brother, M.L. King Jr. Brother Ervin Griffin Sr., president emeritus of Halifax Community College; Brother Jonathan Bulluck, president of Epsilon Sigma Lambda Chapter in Rocky Mount; Brother Antonio Squire and Brother/General Arnold Gordon Bray will honorably participate in the laying of the wreath.

The memorial prayer and inspirational words will be given by Charles McCollum Sr., president of the SCLC, Roanoke Valley, N.C. Chapter and pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton and Piney Grove Baptist Church in Halifax.

After the laying of the wreath, a special blessing and moments of reflections will be given at the Sarah Keys Evans Plaza, also located in the M.L. King Community Park. The plaza was unveiled on Aug. 1.

Evans is the unsung hero who made history at 22 years old. On Aug. 1, 1952, Evans refused to give up her seat on a state-to-state charter bus in Roanoke Rapids. The “Trailblazer,” as she likes to be called by her act of courage, prompted the landmark case, Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company in which the Interstate Commerce Commission outlawed segregation of Black passengers in buses traveling across state lines in 1955.

Due to the surge of the COVID-19, this year’s ceremony will be abbreviated. Nevertheless, the SCLC wanted to continue the great legacy of this occasion in the Roanoke Valley area.

For more information, call Georgette B. Kimball at 252-536-1019 or Ophelia Gould-Faison at 252- 532-0071.