On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, crowds gathered at Montreal’s Union United Church to remember him and continue working toward his vision of an equal and just society.
It was co-organized by Union United Church — which has a strong connection to the history of Montreal’s black community — along with the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) and Montreal’s Black History Month.
Quincy Armorer, the artistic director of the Black Theatre Workshop, delivered parts of King’s most famous speeches at the event.
“Every time I go through it I get teary-eyed at the very end,” he said of King’s I’ve Been to the Mountaintop speech.
Michael Farkas, president of the Round Table on Black History Month, said the event at Union United Church was a way to pass King’s work onto a new generation.
“There’s still work to be done,” he said.
Some of that work was highlighted by CRARR earlier in the day.
A petition which expects the city to hold public consultations on concrete actions against systemic racism and discrimination reached its second phase.
It was launched in February and now needs to get 15,000 signatures in the next 90 days.
Former municipal election candidate for Project Montréal, Balarama Holness, has been vocal about the under-representation of visible minorities in Montreal’s last election.
“We will go to every arena, every mosque, every school, every media outlet and hope to get the support of Montrealers,” Holness said of the petition.
“We’re hoping to continue [King’s] legacy through this petition.”