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Annual MLK march has new route for 2019
Newtown Florist Club plans events Jan. 21
MLK dream.jpg
Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech Aug. 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. - photo by Associated Press

With its annual Martin Luther King Jr. events, the Newtown Florist Club is urging people to speak up and participate.

This year’s theme for the holiday, which falls Monday, Jan. 21, is speaking boldly: “Stand up! Speak up! Be active! Participate!”

The venerable civil rights group has amplified its message and community outreach in recent years through MLK holiday events, such as a weeklong series of workshops for minority business owners, youth leadership training and advocacy for affordable housing and health care.

The fight for racial equality and economic justice that King championed has turned out hundreds each year, from school kids to those old enough to remember the days of segregation.

A few important changes and additions are on the horizon this year, however.


The annual peace march from the Butler Center on Athens Street to Fair Street elementary school, about a mile or so away, has been rerouted.

Law enforcement will still be on hand this year for the safety of demonstrators, but the march will begin instead at St. John Baptist Church off EE Butler Parkway before ending at Fair Street.

When: 1 p.m.

Where: St. John Baptist, 757 EE Butler Parkway, Gainesville, to Fair Street School, 695 Fair St, Gainesville


The holiday begins, though, with a sermon from the Rev. Robert S. King of St. Paul United Methodist Church on Summit Street in Gainesville.

When: 10 a.m.

Where: St. John Baptist Church

Youth rally

A youth rally with the Johnson High School marching band follows the end of the march.

When: 2 p.m.

Where: Fair Street School

Community discussion

A discussion will focus on civil rights and voter suppression.  

When: 3 p.m.

Where: Fair Street School

In a flyer announcing this year’s events, MLK is quoted from his speech at the famous 1963 March on Washington: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

For more information, contact Rose Johnson, executive director of the Newtown Florist Club, at 770-718-1343 or

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