Many gathered at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater last night in Bloomington for the city’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration. The night’s guest speaker was Carlotta LaNier, the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine.
LaNier recently released a memoir titled “A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School” and stressed the importance of continuing to tell the stories of the past so that future generations can appreciate the fight for desegregation.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration Commissioner Dennis Laffoon said the day holds an important message that should extend beyond the night’s celebration.
“This is a wonderful community—just the word community is a fantastic thing to take away,” Laffoon says. “The 40 Days of Peace Pledge allows us to take something away from tonight and celebrate it for the next 40 days. So it’s not just MLK Day on January 21, but something we can really continue to celebrate throughout the rest of the season.”
Mayor Mark Kruzan was also present at the event, and several local music groups performed, including the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble and the University Elementary School Martin Luther King, Jr. Choir.