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MailTribune.com
  • Speaker recalls encounter with MLK

    Speaker at MLK tribute in Medford recalls her encounter with King
  • The words to the old spiritual "Oh Freedom" resounded throughout the North Medford High School auditorium Sunday afternoon at Medford's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.
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    • Ashland MLK events
      scheduled today
      The theme of Ashland's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is "1964-2014: Fifty Years of Striving Toward Freedom and Justice — a Work in Progress."
      The 26th annual even...
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      Ashland MLK events
      scheduled today

      The theme of Ashland's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is "1964-2014: Fifty Years of Striving Toward Freedom and Justice — a Work in Progress."

      The 26th annual event will be at noon today in the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. Donations of nonperishable food items for the Ashland Food Project or winter clothing for the Maslow Project will be accepted. Admission is free.

      A livestream of the event will be shown at Standing Stone Brewery, 101 Oak St., Ashland, and can be seen online at www.ashlandhome.us.

      A march to the Ashland Plaza, where King's "I Have a Dream" speech will be broadcast, will follow the program.
  • The words to the old spiritual "Oh Freedom" resounded throughout the North Medford High School auditorium Sunday afternoon at Medford's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.
    Nearly 250 people joined keynote speaker Geneva Craig in singing the chorus.
    "Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom, over me, over me. And before I'd be a slave, I'll be buried in my grave, and go home to my Lord and be free."
    The 12th annual celebration, hosted by the local Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, commemorated the life and legacy of the civil rights leader, who would have celebrated his 85th birthday on Wednesday.
    "I thank God for Dr. King, and I thank God for these sheets of music," said Craig, holding up a worn-out song sheet for the audience to see. "Because many years ago, these (songs) strengthened and sustained us."
    Craig is a registered nurse, clinical program coordinator of the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and Oregon chairwoman of AARP's Diversity Advisory Council. DJ Gemineye, who emceed Sunday's event, introduced Craig as a "courageous and determined woman who met life's challenges head-on."
    Born in Selma, Ala., Craig experienced firsthand the injustices of segregation.
    As a teenager, she and her younger brother, who was 13 at the time, were part of the "Bloody Sunday" march on March 7, 1965, and had just crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge when state and local authorities attacked.
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