SARASOTA (WWSB) - SARASOTA (WWSB) - On Mon. Jan 21, marks the 36th year President Ronald Reagan signed a bill in 1983 designating a federal holiday honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to be observed on the third Monday of January.
Martin Luther King would’ve been 89 years old, following the assassination of King in Memphis Tennessee on April 4, 1968.
King is most noted for passing the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the Voting Civil Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
ABC7′s Renee Gilmore, host of Black Almanac will be hosting the MLK Breakfast located at 1845 34th Street, Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.
“Sarasota was celebrating Martin Luther King day, before it was recognized as a national holiday. Sarasota has always been apart of the civil rights movement," Renee said.
Community Breakfast begins 7:30 a.m.
The program will recognize local activists, and community members who contribute to the community daily. Former Ohio senator Nina Turner is the keynote speaker, she founded and operates a nonprofit called Our Revolution. A program to train America’s next progressive leaders.
Ceremonial MLK march begins around 11 a.m.
The is the 38th year Sarasota has marched to celebrate MLK day. Newton’s MLK celebration began before the national holiday was designated.
‘Wade-In’ car caravan and Trolly to Lido Beach
Re-enacting the route taken by African Americans from Newtown to Lido Beach. Residents went to Lido (and other area beaches) in peaceful protest of the restrictions on blacks. Visiting anything other than sections of the shore designated as ‘the black beach’ was problematic and dangerous.
The directions are as follows:
After the breakfast, the march begins in parking lot at the Robert L. Taylor community complex.
- The walk will start towards Gillespie (at entrance of Rec) Head to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Way. Make right. At Orange Ave make Left. Travel Orange Ave (heading south) past Orange Ave public housing facility.
- Make right at 5th St/aka Blvd of the Arts (heading west) At North Tamiami Trail, make Left. At Ringling Causeway make right. Follow signs to Lido Beach. Everyone will gather at the “beach segregation” marker for an historic photo with wade-in participants and their families.
Visit Sarasota and Newtown Alive partnered to present the ceremonial caravan to Lido Beach.
This is the planned schedule:
- At approximately 11:00 am or 11:15 am
Trolley will begin to load passengers, after the marchers have cleared the parking lot area. Trolleys will drive the 20 minute route to Lido Beach. There will be singers on the bus and some narration.
- Trolley will leave around 11:30 a.m. after all passengers are loaded
Trolley will arrive at Lido Beach on the north side of the pavilion by the desegregation historic marker for informal remarks and photo opportunity by the marker and at the end of the boardwalk at the beach. The wade-in participants who are able will walk to the water’s edge for a photo.
Participants will assemble back by the trolley which will be parked close to the historic marker that recognizes the desegregation efforts for another photo.
- By 12:30 to 12:45 pm
Trolley departs back to Newtown