HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A major motion picture will play a central role this year in South Mississippi's celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Next Friday, the MLK Coastwide Celebration will host a special screening of the movie "Selma." The film chronicles the historic march led by King in support of voting rights.
The movie Selma opens to a nationwide audience on Friday, January 9th. That's when the MLK Coastwide Celebration is inviting everyone to a special community viewing and panel discussion on the film.
"Across the nation, the idea is that folks from all walks of life, all religions, will come together to watch this movie because it's so powerful in telling the story of how everyone works together to make changes in the community," said Dr. Persharon Dixon. "So we really wanted to reach out to not only African Americans in our community, but others in our community to know that the events we're doing for Martin Luther King are not for one specific group. They're for everyone and that's because Martin Luther King was inclusive."
Dr. Dixon said she's hoping people will support the film, as well as the MLK Coastwide Celebration, which she said recently created a Go Fund Me account because of slowing donations.
"We're asking everyone to give $10. But $1, $2, $5. All that adds up," said Dr. Dixon. "It also shows the community is supporting the efforts and it also shows the community is supporting what they've asked us to put on."
Organizers said the annual Battle of Bands and parade are not just about having a good time. It's also a time to remember Selma and all the marches for justice.
"It also allows us to have what we call a marade, which is actually a march and parade together," said Dr. Dixon. "That allows our civic organizations to come out and be a part of a simulation of the marches in the past."
The community viewing will be at the Grand D'Iberville Theatre Friday, January 9th at 7pm.
A full listing of the 2015 MLK Coastwide Celebration Events can be found here: http://www.mlkcoastwide.com/#!upcoming_events/c1mya
A link to the organization's GoFundMe page can be found here: http://www.gofundme.com/mlkcoastwide-com