WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - Community organizers in Waveland came together on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to discuss how his dreams can help create a more socially active community.
People reflected on the modern-day effects of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy during the the Art of Activism event.
“It’s up to us to take that, everything that he taught and so many other civil rights leaders and social rights leader taught, and really use that,” said singer Lolly Mariah.
Studio Waveland and the Hancock County NAACP hosted the MLK Jr. Day event, which featured pieces from artists that highlight Dr. King’s message and impact on the black community.
Artist Sabrina Stallworth referenced her re-creation of a King family portrait made with repurposed plastic bottles. The figurines stood tall inside of a glass shadowbox, which is typically used to encase a folded American flag.
“It’s called ‘The Dream Still Lives’ and what that represented is what Dr. King stood for, freedom and justice for all," said Stallworth.
Dr. King is remembered for being a great speaker and thinker. To honor that legacy, organizers plan to host more social events for people to express ideas freely.
“People have moved into computers, cellphones, and they can tune out anything they want," said Gregory Barabino, president of the Hancock County NAACP. “We lost the art of socializing and having conversation.”
Barabino believes there’s a need for a stronger cultural presence among African-Americans on the Coast, especially among black youth. He hopes more conversations can spark a revival of community involvement in Hancock County.
“Down south, at least, we engage through culture, through food, through music," said Barabino.
The theme of collective action resonated as people talked about how they can build a stronger community.
“We all have an individual role in our societies and if we step into our role collectively, than we can come up together,” said Lolly Mariah. "It’s not about one group or another, one person or another, it’s about all of us together.”
The Hancock County NAACP said the event also served as a fundraiser to boost its youth mentor program.