ALTON - The Alton Branch Of The NAACP is finalizing its plans for the Second Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Motorcade to celebrate the new year, and remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The date of the event is Sunday, January 16, 2022. King died on April 4, 1968, after being shot by a gunman - James Earl Ray - who was originally from Alton.
Assembly time for the King motorcade is at 2 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. departure on that Sunday from Lincoln Douglas Square to James Killion Park. The program will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, January 16, at James Killion At Salu Park in Alton.
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Andy Hightower, president of the Alton Branch of the NAACP, stressed the importance of the King parade and said: "It has undoubtedly been a challenging couple of years. However, the fight for equality must not waiver."
"Our theme this year is: “Moving Forward for Change: When We Fight! We Win!”
"We welcome any creative decor you may choose to add to your vehicle for the motorcade. The motorcade is a celebration of the example set by MLK, Jr. and the hope he instilled in our community that change will come."
Hightower asked for community participation in the event. Churches, businesses, the police and fire, and other Alton departments have been asked to attend and decorate their vehicles with the King theme.
Rosetta Brown, an Alton alderwoman and second vice president of the NAACP, will speak first, followed by Pastor Donald Tolbert of the Church Of The Living God, second. "Lift Every Voice And Sing," Will be performed net by Rev. Mark and Marquetta Goins.
Andy Hightower will then provide a greeting to those in attendance.
Phil Green and Faye Taylor will provide highlights of the NAACP and there will be a laying of the wreath presentation with Michael Holiday, treasurer of the NAACP Alton branch.
Pastor Don Sanford of Greater St. James Baptist in Alton will be the guest speaker.
Pastor Gregory Harrison of the Deliverance Temple Church Of God In Christ, will present the Dr. King Award to NAACP Alton branch president Hightower.
Rev. Mark and Goins will next perform "We Shall Overcome" and there will be a closing prayer by Pastor Sanford.
"We ask that all motorcade participants meet at the Lincoln-Douglas Square in downtown Alton by 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. This is to ensure a prompt 2:30 p.m. departure to James Killion (Salu) Park. The motorcade route is to be determined. To commemorate the moment, the program in honor of Dr. King will begin at 3 p.m.
Hightower closed with this statement: "We look forward to seeing you, and to ensure your health and safety, we ask all participants to continue practicing social distancing. If you have any questions or suggestions, please call Rosetta Brown at 618-580-2394. Your participation is greatly appreciated."