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More Then One Reason to Celebrate MLK Day in Elkins
Written by Alex Wiederspiel
Last updated on January 22, 2013 @ 9:15AM
Created on January 20, 2013 @ 9:42PM
It all started with a march down 4th Street in Elkins to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Most of the people here are here because they want to be a part of everything so I'm very optimistic in this. I think we all want the same thing," said Melvin Marks, President of the Riverside School Association.
The community in Elkins wound up at the Old Brick Playhouse, where the legacy of Dr. King was honored through song and dance that was choreographed by Laurie Goux, who named the routine "Keeping the Legacy Alive."
"When you keep the legacy of something alive it means that, unfortunately in this situation, there is still more work to be done. Even though we've made leaps and bounds, there are some hearts and minds that we're still working on," choreographer Laurie Goux told 5 News.
Afterwards, Alice-Gervais Sabatino announced some incredible news to the audience. The old Riverside School built in 1906, the only African-American high school in Randolph County, had been saved.
"Well if you don't know where you come from it's hard to know where you're going. Its very important to work together as a nation and a community," said Sabatino.
It's been 50 years since Bob Dylan asked the question, "How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?" And today in Elkins, the community united to answer that question as they marched down 4th Street to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.
Melvin Marks, President of the Riverside School Association, was in attendance, and was happy to see that the younger generations were learning about the legacy of Dr. King.
"Just like the program demonstrates it's trying to help people--young people especially, it focuses on young people--to understand what there forefathers went through to reach the pinnacle that they are enjoying right now."
Sabatino says that the town of Elkins was only a month away from losing the building when the state of West Virginia stepped in and awarded a grant to help renovate the building, and thus preserve a piece of African-American culture in Elkins.
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