Black History was celebrated in many ways on Monday in Philadelphia. While welcoming the second term of our nation’s first African-American president, many Philadelphians participated in the annual Day of Service to commemorate the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Hundreds of volunteers gathered at Girard College in North Philadelphia, the hub of Day of Service activities, where they were dispersed to various parts of the city in dozens of beautification and service projects, and took part in activities there at Girard College, including packing boxes of items for the poor, and refurbishing teddy bears for children in Philadelphia’s homeless shelters.
Across town, at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel, a different remembrance of King’s legacy took place. The 31st annual Awards and Benefit Luncheon, sponsored by The Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence, drew a capacity crowd who honored this year’s recipient of the Drum Major for Youth Community Development Award, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah, founder of West Philly’s House of Umoja and legendary community leader.
And on Independence Mall, local dignitaries gathered at the Liberty Bell to honor King. Gov. Tom Corbett, William Tucker, President of The Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence, and Tribune president and Tribune CEO Robert W. Bogle were on hand to watch Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, the national Honorary Bell Ringer, tap the famous bell three times in reverence to King’s memory and lasting impact on American society and politics.