OKLAHOMA CAPITOL -- On a warm August day in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial and gave voice to the dream that has been passed through the generations. The dream of a world that enjoys only freedom, sees only equality and knows only peace. On Feb. 23, hundreds will gather to share that dream during the Oklahoma Black Heritage Celebration 2007.
The celebration will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Omniplex, located at 2100 N.E. 52nd St. in Oklahoma City. In honor of the celebration, Gov. Brad Henry has proclaimed Feb. 23 as Black Heritage Day in Oklahoma. And this year’s celebration is recognized as an official Oklahoma Centennial event.
Scheduled to appear are the Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering Gospel Choir, Singer Gary Williams, the Midwest City High School Jazz Ensemble, singer Melva Williams, the Star Spencer High School Drum line and poet Allyah Jeffery. The Master of Ceremony this year will be national lecturer Dr. Eric Anthony Joseph, chaplain and assistant professor at Langston University.
This year’s Community Service Award will be presented to Diane McDaniel, supervisor of the Deborah Rothe Group Home for Girls. The Trailblazer Award will be given to Dr. Stephen Jackson, associate research scientist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. And the Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Col. Jerry N. Cason of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Admission is free and open to the public; however, donations will be accepted to help continue this annual event. The Oklahoma Historical Society, the Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Omniplex sponsor this annual celebration.