The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated Tuesday night in Lodi with music and discussion of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Sponsored by Breakthrough Project, a Lodi organization that promotes racial and ethnic unity and reaches out to victims of hate crimes, the program will begin at 7 p.m. in the Lodi Middle School multipurpose room, 945 S. Ham Lane.
The event is co-sponsored by the Lodi High Breakthrough Club. Almost 200 people attended last year's celebration at Hutchins Street Square.
"We're involving people of different ages and ethnic groups," said James R. "Bo" Crowe, a Breakthrough Project leader and pastor of Lodi United Congregational Christian Church.
The event, in its fifth year, will feature several changes from previous years. It will be on a new day, time and location, and the format will be different, Crowe said.
Previously, the celebration, called "Martin Luther King: Today and Yesteryear," was held at noon on the actual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday - the third Monday of January. This year, it will be on King's actual birthday, Jan. 15, and it will be at night.
Last year's format featured a series of guest speakers to discuss King's legacy and racial and ethnic unity. This year, an intergenerational discussion involving three students each from Lodi, Tokay and Bear Creek high schools along with veterans of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.
On Tuesday, students will present their understanding of King and his legacy with those who have lived the history of this legacy. John Morearty will be the moderator.
Special music from the black spiritual tradition of the 19th century will be highlighted as well.
The Breakthrough Project will also have a black history celebration in the near future. It will feature readings from black culture and the presentation of awards from this year's high school peace essay contest.
The event is being organized by Crowe, former Lodi teacher Art Raab and Woodbridge Middle School teacher Patty Radotic.
The Breakthrough Project was formed in reaction to a cross burning at Tokay High School in January 1998.
For more information, call (209) 368-1955.
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