ECC Celebrates the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From left: Dr. Akil Khalfani, Newark Deputy Mayor Ligia De Freitas, Moroccan Counsel General Abdelkader Jamoussi, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye, Burkina Faso attorney Segui Ambroise Farama, ECC Executive Dean of Faculty & Academics, ECC Special Assistant to the President Pavi Jalloh, and Dean of Student Affair Keith Kirkland

Essex County College Choir performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

Larry Hamm, Chair of the People’s Organization for Progress


The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took center stage during ECC’s Pan Africanism & Peace Today Memorial Program. The program, sponsored by the College’s Africana Institute/ Center for Global Education & Experiences, was held on January 23 in Smith Hall. 

“We are here to reflect on Dr. King’s work and others who have followed him. We are a part of his team for peace and justice in our communities,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye

“Yes, Dr. King was a Civil Rights leader. But that is only a part of his legacy. He was a force for Human Rights and we must continue that fight,” said Dr. Akil Khalfani, Director of the Africana Institute.

Before continuing with the program, Dr. Khalfani called for a moment of silence to remember Dr. King’s son, Dexter School King, who passed away on January 22.

Larry Hamm, Chair of the People’s Organization for Progress who grew up in Newark, said that Pan Africanism is a requisite for Black liberation. “I believe Dr. King was a Pan Africanist. Listen to the speech he gave in March of 1957 during his visit to Ghana and you will understand,” he said.

Mr. Hamm said that Dr. King’s six books should be a requirement in all high school. He went on to state that these books shouldn’t have to be a required, but rather students should read them on their own. 

Counsel Generals Abdelkader Jamoussi of Morocco, and Lot Egopija, from Nigeria, brought greetings to the audience.   

In a challenge to the audience, Dr. Khalfani said, “Nothing can change if we wait for someone else.”

The program was organized in collaboration with the City of Newark and New Direction 360.