A breakfast followed by a march on Main Street in Whitesburg to the Letcher County Courthouse is planned for Monday morning in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“ When you stop and think about it, his whole dream was people living together in peace and harmony,” said Nell Fields, board president of Cowan Community Center. “I think prejudice is such a vicious erosion to the soul of the person who carries it.”
The Cowan Community Center has hosted a similar breakfast in observance of this federal holiday for the last several years, but this will be the first time the nonprofi t organization will include a march in the event. Fields said organizers have often talked about including a march but inclement weather and other factors kept it from happening.
“I wanted to bring the communities together so people could get to know each other and learn more about each other,” she said.
Fields said the breakfast began back in the late 1990s when the center’s youth group wanted to learn what it was like to live in Letcher County during the Civil Rights Movement. Steve Peake, pastor of the Corinth Baptist Church in Fleming- Neon, spoke at the first breakfast held at Appalshop.
“After that it was no turning back,” said Fields. “It’s something we need to do every year.”
Since the initial breakfast, the center has held breakfasts at the Parkway Inn Restaurant, Pine Mountain Grill and Letcher County Central High School.
Funding for the youth group has since been depleted, but the community center continues to sponsor the event. Faith Moves Mountain will assist in providing the breakfast for this year’s gathering.
“When you know how bad it was and how far we have come, these are reasons to continue to fight for positive change,” said Fields.
The breakfast will begin at 10 a.m. at Appalshop on Jan. 17. Gina Sparks will sing and other people will read excerpts of Dr. King’s works. At 11 a.m. people will march from Appalshop along Main Street to the courthouse. Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward will speak in front of the courthouse steps.
For more information, call 633-3339.