J.C. Lewis Serves is honored to be part of such a community robust in history. We recently visited one of the sites that Rev. Dr. King frequented and spent quality time relaxing and connecting with nature in Liberty County – Dorchester Academy. He also shared powerful remarks from his “I Have a Dream” speech to our community at The Second African Church in Savannah. Seeing these historic places first hand makes today even more powerful.
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Second African Baptist Church. When offered the pulpit, Dr. King recited lines that would later comprise his “I Have a Dream” speech performed at Washington Square. The event is memorialized annually at the Second African Baptist Church. Dr. King would visit Savannah three times in 1964 and was scheduled to speak in Savannah two weeks before his assassination. Dr. Martin Luther King recited lines from his “I Have a Dream” sermon on-site before the March on Washington of 1963. The history of the Second African Baptist Church is deep within the Savannah community.
Dorchester Academy, established in 1868, was one of the earliest private schools that educated freedmen. Dorchester Academy was founded after the Civil War as a school for freed slaves. By 1917, the fully accredited high school had eight frame buildings and 300 students. This African American historic site hosted Dr. Martin Luther King’s planning meetings for his 1963 march on Birmingham. Dorchester Academy is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Landmark in 2006.
When the school closed in 1940, the academy served as the host site for Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) adult literacy and voter registration seminars. Martin Luther King, Jr. was frequently the keynote speaker at the conclusion of weeklong citizenship classes at Dorchester. Martin Luther King Jr. would come to Dorchester to relax, play baseball and rehearse his speeches before giving them during the civil rights movement. The Boys’ Dormitory is still standing, and the room that MLK Jr. slept in is still in the same condition as when he last stepped foot in it.
Observing the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday through service is a way to begin each year with a commitment to making your community a better place. Service honors Dr. King’s life and teachings and helps meet community challenges. Service also brings people together of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. The MLK Day of Service encourages all types of service, particularly projects that have a lasting impact and connect participants to ongoing service.
Visit JC Lewis Serves today on this Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service to learn about opportunities to serve in our community.
Thank you ExploreGeorgia.org and Gallivanter for historic information.