BY JAMES HARPER
Attorney Benjamin Crump, whose Tallahasee-based firm represents Trayvon Martin’s parents, will be the featured speaker at the Martin Luther King Banquet on Jan. 17 at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort.
Dr. L. Ronald Durham, chairman of the local Martin Luther King celebration committee, confirmed this week the selection of Crump. The unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon was shot to death in Sanford in February by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. The killing sparked national outrage and led to protests around the United States.
“We do anticipate that both Trayvon’s mother and father will be in attendance during the banquet and Trayvon will be highlighted by essays that this year’s scholarship candidates must submit for a new scholarship, which will be given for the first time this year,” Durham said.
Breakfast, rally on MLK Day
Durham also said Dr. James Sampson, president of the Florida General Baptist Convention, will be the speaker at the traditional worship service, which will take place Jan. 21 on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.
On Jan. 21, the day will start with breakfast at 8 a.m. at Allen Chapel AME Church, followed by a parade ending up at Greater Friendship, where the traditional service will begin.
Tickets for the banquet are $50.
More to overcome
Durham said he first met Crump at a rally in Trayvon Martin’s honor he helped organize.
“I felt the injustice surrounding the immediate release of his murderer was tantamount to the very things that Dr. King was fighting for during the civil rights movement,” said Durham.
“Black children being gunned down, and the killers either released outright by the police, or juries that would find them not guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence,”’ he continued.
Durham said Trayvon Martin and Crump symbolize so much of what the struggle for civil rights remains to be overcome.
The theme for the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is “Celebrating the Dreamer and the Dream.”
Durham said those seeking information about the banquet or other activities surround the celebration should call Greater Friendship Baptist Church at 386-252-0322.