This year's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration wrapped up at James Madison University Monday night with an event at Wilson Hall.
The evening included songs from the J.M.U. Contemporary Gospel Singers, essays on Dr. King read by young local student winners, and a talk by economist and columnist Dr. Julianne Malveaux.
She said, "I think Dr. King's most important quote was everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't need to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't need to know the theory of thermonuclear dynamics to serve. All you need is a heart full of grace and a soul full of love."
She says many people try to reduce Dr. King to "I have a dream." But that he was more complex than that. As far as how people can serve, she says, "service is about looking at other people's lives and how you can contribute and improve other people's lives. I think that we have a lot of rhetoric about that. But we look at it from an economic perspective we have to ask what we're willing to give up. What are we willing to do to eliminate poverty?"
Dr. Malveaux says that while the United States is six percent of the world's population, we consume 46 percent of the world's resources.
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Timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life
- Michael King, later known as Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929.
- September 20, 1944, King began his freshman year at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
- August 6, 1946, the Atlanta Constitution published King's letter to the editor stating that black people "are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens."
- In January and February of 1947 King's article, "The Purpose of Education" was published in the Morehouse student paper, the Maroon Tiger.
- 1948 was a busy year for Martin Luther King, Jr. In February he was ordained and appointed as the assistant pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
- In June of 1948, King received his B.A. in Sociology from Morehouse College.
- In September that same year he began his studies at Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Penn.
- May 1951, King graduated from Crozer with a Bachelor of Divinity degree, and delivered the Valedictory Address at commencement.
- In September of 1951, he began his graduate studies in systematic theology at Boston University.
- On June 18, 1953, Martin Luther King, Jr. married Coretta Scott near Marion, Ala.
- February 28, 1954, King delivers the sermon, "Rediscovering Lost Values" at the Second Baptist Church in Detroit.
- On September 1, 1954, King begins his pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.
- June 5, 1955 Martin Luther King earns his PhD. in Systematic Theology from Boston University.
- On December 5, 1955 King becomes the president of MIA, the Montgomery Improvement Association.
- In February of 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared on the cover of Time magazine, as Time’s Man of the Year.
- During the spring of 1963, King and his staff guided mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, where local white police officials were known from their anti-black attitudes.
- Subsequent mass demonstrations in many communities culminated in a march on August 28, 1963, that attracted more than 250,000 protesters to Washington, D. C. Addressing the marchers from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" oration.
- In December of 1964, King was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while seeking to assist a garbage workers' strike in Memphis.
- He died revered by many for his martyrdom on behalf of non-violence, and condemned by others for his militancy and insurgent views.
Source: http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/ (The Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University)