TYLER, Texas (KETK) – On Monday, several East Texas towns and cities will be holding events to remember Martin Luther King Jr.

In Tyler, Tyler Together Race will hold a virtual celebration in partnership with their community partner Pamela J. Phoenix and “Let’s Talk Tyler”

The event will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the theme is “Strength to Hope”.

The theme was based on this quote:

“Social Progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless effort and the persistent work of dedicated individuals.”

from Dr. King’s Martin Luther King, Jr. “American Dream” Speech at Lincoln University, June 6th, 1961

The celebration will consist of three parts that will be broadcast on the Let’s Talk Tyler’s Facebook page.

  1. A prerecorded video portion with traditional greetings.
  2. A Zoom panel discussion with nine community members. This section is interactive and a chance for the community to submit comments.
  3. A prerecorded video with awards, recognitions and announcements.

The nine council members that will be in attendance are:

  • Don Warren, Mayor, City of Tyler
  • Ambra Phillips, President of Tyler United
  • Anwar Khalifa, President of Pyramid Homes
  • Cornelius Shackelford, Community Organizer, East Texas Region
  • Reverand Ginger Brandt, Associate Minister of First Christian Church
  • Amori Mitchell, Community Organizer, East Texas Region
  • Nick Pesina, Attorney, Roberts & Roberts
  • Natalie Urquiza, Community Advocate, East Texas Region
  • Edwin Santos, Community Advocate, East Texas Region

Trude Lamb will receive the 2021 Rev. Jerome R. Milton Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership qualities and a demonstrated willingness to see injustices and inequities and willingness to act or motivate others to act non-violently to effect changes that benefit the community at large.

In 2020, Trude Lamb challenged the Tyler Independent School Board to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School to Tyler Legacy. Lamb’s efforts received national attention.

She wrote a letter to board members, which began by saying: “I have stood in the dungeons of the slave castle and see the three foot urine and feces stains on the walls… I have worked the very fields and fetched water for my family from the very places my people were kidnapped.”

He owned slaves and didn’t believe people like me were 100% human let alone ever go to my very high school… I don’t see a future of remembering a person who did nothing for our country and who didn’t care for me or my people. He continues to bring our city down.”

Trude Lamb

Lamb asked the school to “change the name, not to ‘Tyler LEE’ but after someone who we can all be proud of.”

Gladewater will host an MLK parade and food drive.

The parade will begin at the corner of Walter Derrick Drive and Commerce Street and proceed on Main Street and end at the Garfield Hill Community Center on Eleanor Street.

Non-perishable food items can be dropped off at Garfield Hill Community Center and the food will be donated to the Manna House in Gladewater.

Due to COVID, the event will follow CDC guidelines by wearing masks and social distancing.

In Mineola, a caravan will take place on East Highway 80 and the line up will begin at 10 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m. the caravan will proceed west to Newsom and then north to the Mineola Civic Center at 1150 N. Newsom.

People can remain in their vehicles and tune the radio to KMOO 99.9 to listen to the audio.

There will be a service at 10:45 a.m. at the Mineola Civic Center where to-go refreshments will be served.

Those leaving the vehicle are encouraged to wear a mask and safely social distances.

Kilgore Men and Women of Alliance will pay respects to MLK on Monday at the Texan Theater at 204 S Kilgore St. at 10 a.m.