Coalition to hold annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
WEST HAVEN >> David Telfort, a student at Yale Divinity School, will be the keynote speaker on Jan. 11 when the West Haven Black Coalition holds its 29th Annual Tribute to the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The tribute, one of the oldest King tributes in the area and also generally one of the first each year, will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon in the First Congregational Church of West Haven, 1 Church St. on the Green, said Black Coalition President Carroll E. Brown.
Admission is free and open to anyone.
Telfort is doing his Internship at Dixwell Congregational United Church of Christ in New Haven, Brown said. He is not yet ordained but “this young man can preach,” she said.
The Rev. Jerry Streets, pastor of Dixwell Avenue United Church of Christ, former Yale Univerity chaplain and an intern at the same church under the late Rev. Edwin Edmonds when he was a Yale Divinity School student and will introduce Telford.
Reflections on Dr. King also will be presented by Brittany Palmer, a student at University of New Haven; Yi-Chun Tricia Lin, professor of women’s studies at Southern Connecticut State University, and Sarah Peterson, who was producer of Black Nativity at Long Wharf Theatre, Brown said.
The tribute also will feature three choirs: New Haven’s Co-op Arts Magnet School Choir, the West Haven High School Choir and the Unity Boys Choir, she said.
The tribute actually was the West Haven Black Coalition’s first organized activity after it was founded three decades ago, Brown said.
“I found that there was a need to recognize Dr. King because we felt the city” at that time “wouldn’t do it,” Brown said. “We chose the church on the Green because it was right in the center of town.
“t was just a chance to bring blacks and whites together as Dr. King would have wanted …” and it was no mistake that “the Center Church on the Green is a (largely) white church …” Brown said. “That’s what Dr. King would have wanted.”
There will be a patriotic medley done by the two high school choirs, and another patriotic medley done by the Unity Boys Choir and the music will honor the city’s veterans, “who we hope will be in the audience,” Brown said.
A light meal will be served following the service.