MLK Jr. Parade is Monday

Published 6:10 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered once again Monday, Jan. 16 in the city of Clanton’s annual Dr. King Parade.

The parade will depart from Jack Hayes Field at 1 p.m. and will make its way through downtown Clanton, crossing the railroad tracks on Second Avenue North and ending at the E.M. Henry Skills Center. Anyone participating in the parade should line up by noon.

“This man has never been elected to political office, and they have erected a 40-foot statue of him,” said Evangelist Robert Binion, parade coordinator, referring to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial unveiled in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 22, 2011. Binion visited the nation’s capital two days after the monument’s opening to see it firsthand.

Evangelist Robert Binion took this picture of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Sculptor Lei Yixin called the monument “Stone of Hope.”

“I don’t want us to lose sight of our heritage,” he said. “These folks that fight for freedom in this country — he took a stand.”

The grand marshal for Monday’s parade will be Jerry Henderson, former director of elections for the state of Alabama, Office of the Secretary of State, and a founding member of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED). Henderson has served as a consultant for the United Nations and is also an educator, author and award-winning freelance writer.

Binion described Henderson as “a man of knowledge, a man of travel, and a common man you can reason and talk to.”

Following the parade, attorney Elizabeth Huntley will speak at the E.M. Henry Skills Center. Huntley is a graduate of Auburn University.

“I think [this event] should reflect that women played great roles in the movement,” Binion said.

Also, a pre-parade event, a gospel talent search, will be held at the E.M. Henry Head Start facility at 413 South 14th Street in Clanton on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13-14, at 7 p.m. For more information, call Evangelists Robert and Lucy Binion at 205-299-1873.