King Legacy to be Celebrated

Civil rights history marches into the future


Rosmary Dupray of Silver City looked around, listened to what is happening in the country and was confused by what she saw. She heard that some places are discussing censoring books and information received by students regarding civil rights and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Some states are discussing censorship because, Dupray said, children might feel bad about themselves.

But, Dupray said, it is important history is known. The civil rights movement is essential to change in the country.

“It’s critical so that people can understand the context of where racism comes from,” she said. “I think it’s really important for young people growing up now just to know our history and to have an understanding of racial awareness and cultural awareness expanding to native American and Hispanic awareness.”

She came to the realization everyone on the planet under the age of 55 were not even alive when King was alive and most of the people were not even around when he died. Because it is important to understand the past, Dupray has built a way of celebrating his life in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15.

“I want his life to be celebrated and not just have nobody know who this man is ,” she said. “He’s been a hero of mine all of my life. I want him to be remembered because he was a great being and he was a man of peace and he was a man of love. I feel like he is deserving of a celebration of his life.”

So, she has pulled together an array of events for the weekend of Jan. 12-14 to do just that. The weekend culminates with A Celebration of All of Life from 2:30-10 p.m. held at the Silver City Chamber Conference Center which includes talks with several people including the Rev. Earseye Ross, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Silver City. Ross was a civil rights activist and associate of King, Rosa Parks, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders of the 1960s.

Other speakers include Chiricahua Apache and visiting lecturer of Native American Studies at Western New Mexico University, Toohayaysay as well as a representative of the League of United Latin American Citizens. There will also be music and an open mic for poets, music and stories at the end.

“History is important,” Dupray reiterates. “In order for racial healing to happen, there needs to be acknowledgement that this country has a legacy of brutality and a legacy of racism. That needs to be seen, acknowledged and educated.”

She said King cannot just fade away into history. Everybody needs to know who he was and what he stood for and what he died for.

Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s peace legacy

Friday, Jan. 12 – Dance of Universal Peace: 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Donations Accepted, at 607 Arizona Street in Silver City

Saturday, Jan. 13 - documentary: “The Freedom Riders:” noon -3 p.m. –admission free, at the Silver City Library, 515 W. College Ave Silver City. The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists during the 1960s who rode interstate buses in southern US to challenge the segregated bus systems. A talk will be given by the Rev. Earseye Ross.

Saturday, Jan. 13 – Healing Sound Bath by Slum: 7- 8:30 p.m.: $10 at the Lotus Center, 211 W. Broadway Ave., Silver City - A unique instrumental experience utilizing Tibetan singing bowls; gongs and cymbals; and chanting from various indigenous influences around the world.

Sunday, Jan. 14 – In Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., A Celebration of All of Life: 2:30-10 p.m. –$10. At the Chamber of Commerce Conference Center, 3031 US 180 (near Ace Highway) Silver City. All profits benefit the Commons Center for Food Security. Speakers include the Rev. Earseye Ross; Toohayaysay; and a League of United Latin American Citizens presentation.

Musical vocalists include gospel singer Rachel Ross; Mariachi singer Angelica Padilla; and Mariachi singer Keana Huerta. And there will be a drumming circle with drummers with the Chiricahua Apache Nation. Finally closing with an open mic welcoming vocalists, musicians, poets and storytellers to share their hearts and talents in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy.

Martin Luther King, King Legacy