Rescheduled Martin Luther King celebration on for Feb. 13

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Daryl Davis

Daryl Davis

Sometimes it just works. Blizzards in two states may have postponed the program originally scheduled for Jan. 23, but everyone was able to come together to make things work for Saturday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. at the Tryon Fine Arts Center.

The Thermal Belt Friendship Council will present an inspiring program of talented people to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Keynote speaker, Daryl Davis, Grammy Award-winning musician, author and activist, will share his personal journey of turning hatred to friendship, one Ku Klux Klan member at a time.

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Mr. Davis turned his childhood experiences with racism into a lifelong journey to understand that phenomenon and its underpinnings. He shares a message of bridging enormous divides and overcoming fears to create genuine and respectful relationships with those once perceived as enemies. As our community and our country struggle with divisions and enmity, his message is very timely.

Music for the program will be provided by the Children’s Choir of the First Baptist Church of Tryon. Under the leadership of Candy Wilson, the church’s director of Music and Christian Formation, these dedicated young people will share songs of peace and brotherhood. They are very excited to have been invited to participate in this program.

Ms. Sandra Forney will read poems written by her grandmother, Mrs. Della Jackson.  Mrs. Jackson was a leader in the community and founder of the Stony Knoll Library, among other programs. This library was a lifeline to learning in the Stony Knoll community when access to educational resources such as libraries was limited to whites in the towns of Polk County.

The Friendship Council was inspired to ask Ms. Forney to present the poetry after visiting the Stony Knoll library and learning of the tremendous work that had been done there, most of it unknown to the larger community.

Also highlighting the program will be the exhibit and awards of the Student Creative Contest and the awarding of the Friendship Council’s Scholarship in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

An on-site reception will be held immediately after the program. This program is free and open to the public. The Friendship Council is very appreciative of the Free Community Events Grant of the Polk County Community Foundation for making this program possible.

-Submitted by Donna Tatnall