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11:04 AM Mon, Sept. 24th

Local activities mark Martin Luther King Day

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<p>
Members of the Mountain Oak Charter School Drum Group, led by Dave Sorenson, perform for the crowd during Yavapai College’s “The Bridge to Unity: An Evening of Musical Performances and Presentations Commemorating the Wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Monday night at the Yavapai College Performance Hall in Prescott.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<p> Members of the Mountain Oak Charter School Drum Group, led by Dave Sorenson, perform for the crowd during Yavapai College’s “The Bridge to Unity: An Evening of Musical Performances and Presentations Commemorating the Wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Monday night at the Yavapai College Performance Hall in Prescott.

Brenda Thomson, director of LearnLaw, talked about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Yavapai College "Bridge to Unity" celebration of his life, but he was not the only focus of the Monday evening event.

On Monday America honored Dr. King for his non-violent dedication to civil rights.

Thomson's message was that Dr. King may have been the guiding light, but he had help from the African-American children trying to attend school after the U.S. Supreme Courts decision banning school segregation; the men and women who sat at lunch counters; and the freedom riders who suffered beatings in the deep South.

These were people, mostly African-American, but some white, willing to put their lives on the line for what they believed.

Thomson said the Statue of Liberty is the embodiment of the diversity of the United States. The statue, Thomson said, symbolizes hopes and dreams.

The evening's performances demonstrated the diversity of the people in the Prescott community. Church groups, community choirs, a middle school drum group and a Native American Children's Blessing celebrated MLK Day in Prescott.

Thomson said, "This country has been diverse as a nation since the beginning. The difference between then and now is in the change of attitude. Before, diverse meant different."