Downtown Springfield Association
Event poster for MLK Weekend 2021
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Springfield NAACP moves forward with MLK Weekend

January 14, 2021

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The COVID-19 pandemic won’t stop Springfield’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March. The Springfield NAACP is hosting MLK Weekend instead, with a “virtual” march route anyone can walk or drive Jan. 15-18. Here are the details.

Travel the trail

The Springfield NAACP invites participants to pick one day over the weekend and visit at least two sites along Springfield’s African-American Heritage Trail. Two of the five spots are located in Downtown Springfield. 

  • Silver Springs Park, 1100 North Hampton Ave.
  • Lincoln Hall, 815 North Sherman
  • Church Square North, 900 North Benton Ave.
  • Church Square South, 600 North Benton Ave. Downtown
  • Park Central Square, Downtown

Springfield’s African-American Heritage Trail also includes markers at Lincoln School, Lincoln Memorial Cemetary and the former site of Alberta’s Hotel. That building was located Downtown on Benton. The memorial marker sits in the parking lot between Jordan Valley Community Health Center and the Springfield Municipal Court building.

Selfies, prizes and music

Take a selfie in front of the historic buildings or markers, then share them on social media. Use the hashtag #movingforwardmlk. Springfield NAACP board members will walk or drive the path from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each day. They’ll hand out T-shirts and gift certificates to Big Momma’s Coffee & Espresso Bar and The Coffee Ethic. 

Want to add a little joy and inspiration to your march? The Springfield NAACP has put together a 2021 MLK March playlist of freedom songs.

  • Happy Birthday — Stevie Wonder
  • A Change Gonna Come — Sam Cooke
  • Ella’s Song — Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • Stand Up — Cynthia Ervio
  • Move On Up — Curtis Mayfield
  • People Get Ready — Curtis Mayfield
  • Glory — Common, featuring John Legend

Give back

Participants in the MLK March are invited to donate warm outerwear for unsheltered individuals in the Springfield community. Drop off scarves, gloves and socks in the collection bin at Big Momma’s, 217 East Commerical St.