Kelvin Gadson, founder of the Giving a Child a Dream Foundation, leads a March from Memorial Plaza to the King monument on the Orangeburg County Courthouse grounds

Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who visited Orangeburg, will be honored Monday, Jan. 16 with a street-naming ceremony.

Amelia Street in Orangeburg will be named Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard during the ceremony.

King delivered a speech at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orangeburg in the early 1960s, “reassuring those in attendance that their cause was a righteous one, and he reinforced the importance of non-violence.

“Dr. King’s speech lifted their spirits, making them all believe that anything was possible.”

King also, “was instrumental in inspiring the citizens of Orangeburg to zealously march, picket, boycott and demonstrate in support of their cause for civil rights. A statue of Dr. King stands along Amelia Street by the Courthouse.”

The resolution also notes “Dr. King gave speeches to students at both Claflin University and South Carolina State University, inspiring them to become involved in the Civil Rights Movement.”

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A march will begin at Trinity United Methodist Church at 9:30 a.m. and will go to the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on Amelia Street at the Orangeburg County Courthouse.

Participants are asked to line up around 9 a.m. at the church. The street dedication ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

The ceremony will be hosted by Orangeburg County and the City of Orangeburg.

The naming of the street was spearheaded by Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler, who approached members of the Orangeburg County Legislative Delegation about honoring King. They unanimously agreed to the approach.

The S.C. Department of Transportation also approved the naming.

Amelia Street ends at Trinity United Methodist Church and the universities. King spoke at them all.

The street naming will be similar to how a portion of Boulevard Street is named Webber Boulevard in honor of the late Dr. Clemmie Embly Webber and a portion of U.S. Highway 301 is named Marshall B. Williams Boulevard in honor of the late senator.

Homes and businesses along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will continue to have an Amelia Street address for mail and other official purposes.

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