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King Day events won't dwell on controversy

LAWRENCEVILLE - Peaceful protests have always been a part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

Once again, on the anniversary of King's birth, people will march to remember what he has accomplished and what has yet to be accomplished in terms of race relations in this country.

On Friday, activist and U.S. Rep. John Lewis protested a controversial voter ID being considered in the General Assembly by declining to attend a King celebration held by Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue.

The state House of Representatives approved the bill, led by Republicans, just the day prior.

But the United Ebony

Society's Robbie Susan Moore said she didn't believe the proposal would be brought up in Monday's Lawrenceville ceremony.

"That's not the form we're going to take," she said. "Right now, we'll stick to celebrating what we've accomplished. There are some things we feel we've lost ground on."

Moore said she thought Lewis acted appropriately.

"It shows we have a right to protest what we think is wrong. That's good American for you," she said. "That's where we have to pick up the effort."

The Ebony Society's annual march will begin at 10 a.m. at the historic Square in Lawrenceville.

Instead of marching to the nearby Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, participants will walk to Central Gwinnett High School.

Moore said the location was changed because of recent upgrades to courthouse security. Screening the hundreds of people who usually attend the event could be too cumbersome, she said.

The program, which includes presentations to local leaders and speeches from students, will begin at noon at the school's auditorium.

This year, Moore said, the society will honor Rosa Parks, whose historic arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person in Montgomery, Ala., is credited with sparking the civil rights movement.

The award will be given to a Gwinnett resident who is the great-niece of Parks, who died last year.

IF YOU GO

•What: Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and program

•When: 10 a.m. march, noon program Monday

•Where: March will begin at the historic Square in Lawrenceville and will end at Central Gwinnett High School, where the program will be held