January 15, 2007

Serving in Honor of MLK

The Washington Post today reminds readers that there are other ways to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. than simply taking a day off from work — like volunteering your time for a service project. The Corporation for National and Community Service, the same agency that oversees the AmeriCorps program “wants to make the King holiday a time of service rather than sloth, and it is organizing community projects and events across the country to do it.”

Check here for service opportunities in your community — today or any day of the year.

Plus: Dora McDonald, King’s secretary and a key member of his inner circle, died Saturday at age 81. Ernie Suggs writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

From the moment that Dora McDonald became the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal secretary in 1960, she was entrusted with his secrets and counted on to look after his family if something happened to him.

It was McDonald who often got late night calls from King when he couldn’t sleep. It was McDonald who typed King’s manuscripts and the final versions of his speeches. It was McDonald who told Coretta Scott King that her husband had been assassinated. [...]

“She was more than Martin’s secretary,” said civil rights leader Joseph Lowery. “She was his confidante, his colleague. She loved him, and he loved her. We all loved Dora.”

At a 2002 roundtable on civil rights sponsored by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McDonald talked about the many sacrifices made: “I guess my hope comes from believing that our mission was right and that eventually we will be able to address racism, poverty and war, and improve the lot of all people.”

“You know, we were always taught by the leaders that freedom is not free, we have to pay a price,” said McDonald. “There’s a price to be paid for freedom.”


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