Bullock Memorial Center Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 On Monday, January 17, millions of people around the world will celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 From the segregated schoolhouses of Georgia, at the age of 15, King graduated high school. Like his grandfather and father, King received his Bachelor of Arts from Atlanta’s Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution. In 1951, he was elected president of a predominately white senior class at Crozer Theological Seminary where he received his Bachelor of Divinity, and, while serving as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., a 25-year-old King earned his doctorate from Boston College in 1955.
 While in Boston he met and married Coretta Scott. Together the couple had four children: Yolanda, Martin Luther III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice.
 Advocating for civil rights, he joined the executive committee of the NAACP, and in December 1955 led the 382-day-long Montgomery Bus Boycott. During the boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, and was subjected to physical violence. Through extreme adversity, he emerged as a civil rights leader. His perseverance was instrumental in landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including those that integrated public buses in 1956.
 Hailed as a masterpiece in rhetoric, and one of history’s greatest speeches, on Aug. 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Monument in Washington, D.C., King delivered his “I Have a Dream” address to more than 250,000 civil rights supporters; the speech was televised to millions of viewers across the country.
 The following year, at 35 years of age, King became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He donated the $54,000 Nobel Prize money (valued at $485,000 today) to further advance civil rights for all.
 In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, banning discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on “race, color, religion, or national origin.” Congress also passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which restored and protected the right to vote.
 Shortly after 6 p.m., April 4, 1968, the world-renowned civil rights leader and Nobel laureate was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. He was 39.
 To honor Dr. King’s legacy and promote the organization’s mission to educate, and inspire younger generations, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, January 17, members of the Bullock Community Center, 917 S. 1st St., will serve golden fried chicken wings, slow-simmered beans, cornbread, dessert and a drink in exchange for each $10 donation.
 In the interest of public health concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, patrons are asked to remain outside; volunteers will be on hand to serve.
 “We feel as though this is a great way for us to safely pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy,” said Charlotte Oliver, Bullock Memorial Foundation committee co-chair.
 The Bullock Memorial Center is a nonprofit organization. All proceeds further the foundation’s mission to promote education and arts in the community.
 For more details, call Charlotte Oliver at (405) 274-6268 or Bruce Alexander at (405) 650-4521.
The Bullock Memorial Center was established to honor one of Chickasha’s first surgeons and family physicians, Dr. William Arthur J. Bullock, (1877-1946). Dr. Bullock is listed as one of Chickasha’s Pioneers (1894-1904). He was president of the local chapter of the NAACP and a member of the Negro Chamber of Commerce. Championing for the Black community, Dr. Bullock frequently petitioned the Chickasha City Council to improve race relations and living conditions for Blacks during the 1920s and ’30s.
 Before his death, Dr. Bullock ardently supported Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher’s 1946 decision to attend the then all-white University of Oklahoma Law School. Two years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Sipuel v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Okla. That decision prompted the desegregation of all state colleges and universities, serving as a precursor for Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans.