Savannah Feed the Hungry celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy through a series of documentary presentations

Savannah Feed the Hungry (a local charitable organization) is hosting various events to celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. just in time for his birthday and national observance holiday. 

They are inviting the public to join in the celebration and learn about Dr. King and his family.

Feed the Hungry was founded by Georgia State Representative Carl Gilliard and his family. 

Gilliard is close to the King family and has even worked closely with Isaac Farris, King’s nephew, on different projects. 

Gilliard has spent much of his life working to fighting for equality and economic development for the working poor. 

On Saturday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. in the Saannah Civic Center Ballroom will be a banquet in honor of Dr. Naomi King, the sister-in-law of Dr. King.  There will also be a screening of the documentary “Rev. A.D. King Brother to the Dreamer.”

A.D. King’s life, contributions to the civil rights movement and his death 15 months after his brother’s assassination are the focus of the documentary.

“This is a powerful documentary about the brother of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was found dead a year later in a swimming pool. It’s a powerful narrative that focuses on his death believed not to be an accident,” said Gilliard.

The widow of A.D. King, Dr. Naomi King will be in attendance for this special screening. This screening is free and open to the public but people will have to RSVP online.

There will also be a private screening of the new documentary from Gilliard called “The Power of the Pen” on Saturday, Jan. 16 but the public will be able to watch it streaming online.

This documentary focuses on the origin of Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law and how it was repealed. It focuses on the worldwide interest that was sparked after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. 

“In 1863, the law was made right after reconstruction to essentially lynch people legally. That was the first thing that came out of their mouth in Brunswick (in the Ahmad Arbury case) that this was a citizen’s arrest, hoping that that would justify the murder of Arbery,” said Gilliard.

Gilliard was the co-sponsor of House Bill 479 and led the charge to get the Citizen’s Arrest law overhauled. 

Different legislators from both parties were involved in the process and this work was spotlighted at the Geneva Convention and inspired legislation in New York and South Carolina. 

“I was in the General Assembly in Atlanta and remember seeing people marching and demonstrating outside of the Capitol and I decided to use the power of legislation to find a way to do somethng about this law,” said Gilliard. 

Governor Kemp signed the bill on May 10, 2021 that repealed and replaced Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law. 

On King’s holiday, Monday, Jan. 17 is the 13th annual MLK Community Dinner at the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club. 

Also on this day audiences can enjoy the documentary “The Last Days of King” by Gilliard. This is a radio (audio) documentary that focuses on the moments of King’s life days before he was assassinated. 

“Dr. King knew his life was in danger and this powerful documentary shows that. It also gives insight into ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ which would be his last speech,” said Gilliard. 

In “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” King calls for unity, economic actions, boycotts, and nonviolent protest, while challenging the United States to live up to its ideals. 

King even refers to threats against his life and uses language that foreshadowed his impending death, but reasserting that he was not afraid to die.

A day later King was killed. The documentary features interviews from several members of Dr. King’s family and staff and shows how the man and the movement made such a tremendous difference in the country.

The documentary will air on ESPN Coastal radio stations. Magic 103.9 FM and E93 FM. 

For more information about any of the documentary presentations or to learn more, visit savannahfeedthehungry.net.