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Continuing The Legacy

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CONTINUING KING’S LEGACY OF JUSTICE, PEACE AND EQUALITY!

The City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission will continue its commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1st March for Justice organized by the late Rev. Dr. Raymond “R.A.” Callies, Sr., a San Antonio teacher and pastor. Rev. Callies began the March in 1968 to call attention to the need for basic infrastructure on the east side. His efforts have resulted in what has become one of the largest commemorative marches for Dr. King in the United States and possibly the world. After the death of Dr. King, he worked tirelessly to have a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. erected in what is now MLK Plaza located at the heart of the eastside on New Braunfels Street. Since then, community members along with thousands of others who travel across the country to participate, have gathered each year in increasing numbers to reflect on their own Dream of Justice, Peace and Equality to all in America.

Improving the quality of life for all people was the dream of Dr. King and Rev. Callies. The MLK Commission seeks to continue their work and legacy by offering educational and empowering events throughout the month of January each year. If you would like to support the mission of the City of San Antonio, MLK Commission, please participate by attending the various events provided by the Commission. Your financial support is also needed to help in presenting Scholarships to deserving area students. Please contact the City of San Antonio’s MLK, Jr. Commission for more informtation.

The signature event, the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March, is scheduled for Monday, January 20, 2020. The march will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the MLK Academy located at 3501 MLK Drive and end at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa. 

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Community

MLK Day of Service

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Alpha Tau Omega Chapter, San Antonio’s local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated celebrated the Sorority’s 114th Founding Anniversary with a day on and not a day off. For this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. service project they hosted a Community-wide Food and Winter Items Drive. Members collected can goods, non-perishable items, winter wear clothing (hoodies, gloves, jackets, etc.), and blankets. The ladies braved the cold and withstood the windy gusts Saturday morning. Their work was not in vain as they continue to be a service to all mankind.

Thanks to the donations from chapter members and the community, several hundred pounds of food as well as winter wear was collected and will be donated to support the San Antonio Food Bank and homeless street outreach efforts in San Antonio.

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Community

Nation’s Largest MLK March Cancelled

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Due to the current influx of omicron cases in and around San Antonio, the city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. March has been cancelled. The event was previously scheduled to take place on January 17th, but concerns for public safety and continued presence of the virus on the route led to its cancellation.

The MLK board met and made the decision Thursday night. The board will decide what they plan to include in next Monday’s meeting.

Renee Watson, who is the chairperson of the Martin Luther King march, says that COVID-19 testing will be available together with vaccine shots at Pittman Sullivan Park.

As of Thursday afternoon, the most recent update from DreamWeek says their events are still on but their plans are impromptu.

The in-person event, which had been held every year since 1987, was changed to a virtual event in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

After over 20,000 diagnoses cases from the first week of the year, it makes sense to cancel a show for safety reasons.

Nathaniel Davis, past chair of Martin Luther King Junior March, died this week. We are saddened by his loss and extend our condolences to his family during this difficult time.

Stayed tuned to Black Video News for the latest statement and updates.

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Art

MLK Park is the site of a new sculpture dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.

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In 2022, when the MLK march sets off from Martin Luther King Jr. Park, it will have a new public sculpture at the starting point that becomes an iconic part of the march.

The San Antonio-based artist, Kaldric Dow, completed his monumental outdoor installation called Spheres of Reflection. With the piece reaching almost 17 feet in height, it’s a major achievement for Dow and artists of color in the city.

The steel & concrete sculpture called “Spheres” was both Dow’s first public art piece and first large scale sculpture. Created through the department of Arts and Culture’s “Sketch to Sculpture” program, Spheres was realised in 2019.

We recognized that in order to work towards diversity and equity in public art, we needed to be able to use all the resources at our disposal. Many artists would have difficulties working with large scale commission texts or material they weren’t well versed in. We want to provide what is usually unavailable for them so they can contribute more to the department’s goals, said Stacey Norton, administrator.

Previously, Dow had been known primarily as a portrait painter. He exhibited his work at Luminaria, AP Art Lab, and the San Antonio International Airport. He said he can easily generate ideas for sculptures but without the Sketch to Sculpture program, making Spheres and its companion piece installed in the River Walk Art Garden downtown would not have been possible.

“My initial idea for the piece began with a self-portrait and an elaborate hair style,” Dow stated while talking about his creative process. He started by sketching himself with an elaborate hairdo. “I find it empowering to know something I created myself was turned into drawings, then cut out, and finally turned into this 3D sculpture.”

The self-portrait evolved into a purposefully androgynous face in the 1980s when artist Roy Dow said in his retrospective last year with the museum: “I want people to feel familiar with the face to where it can represent someone in their family or their friends. On the subject of colors, “Cor-Ten” is an iron compound with a familiar industrial history. It’s uses cater to the demands of black skin tones like it does in Dow’s portraits.

Black culture’s widespread embrace of hair as a symbol of pride and celebration of heritage.

Dow states that special rings of black-painted steel spheres stacked four rows high evoke Black culture’s widespread embrace of hair as a symbol of pride and celebration of heritage. The sculpture gains resonance with its surroundings through words written on the lower rows of spheres. These quotes from Dr. King each have a meaning that reflects the mood of the sculpture, for example “Dream,” “Bold,” and “Desire.”

With completing Spheres of Reflection, Dow looks forward to the public dedication and MLK March on Jan. 11 and 17 respectively.

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