MLK in 2011: Dreams, Denials, and Mark Twain

January 17 2011, 9:30 AM

Today marks Denver's 26th annual "Marade," a 5k parade and march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. that begins at 10 a.m. at the "I Have a Dream" monument in City Park and ends at the Civic Center. On Friday, Denver's interim mayor, Bill Vidal, presided over the business-related social responsibility awards named for MLK. Ruth Denny was named this year's trailblazer for her civil rights activism, and other awards were presented to broadcast journalist Tamara Banks, Denver Water's Laurie Billeter, MillerCoors' Moses Brewer, Lewan & Associates' Lloyd Lewan, RTL Networks' Richard Lewis, and rodeo promoter Lu Vason, notes the Denver Post.

While communities around the state today celebrate the reverend and civil rights leader, some Greeley residents remain concerned with Brett Reese, the Greeley school board member and 104.7 FM radio station owner whose broadcasts have recently attacked MLK. Known white-supremacist Kevin Alfred Storm, whose writings are read by Reese over the airwaves, has come to Reese's defense, reports the Greeley Tribune, an endorsement Reese claims he doesn't want.

As outrage continues over the broadcasts, Mayor Tom Norton, a former state legislator, tells 9News Reese's views don't represent Greeley, which also holds an annual MLK march. "I find it difficult to figure out where he's coming from," Norton says. But one Unitarian Universalist reverend in the area hoped to help her congregation see Reese in a different light, as she spoke of great historical leaders and heroes, the Tribune also writes.

What would MLK think of the soon-to-be-published versions of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, which replace the "N" word with "slave"?  We'll never know for sure, but certain librarians and educators in Colorado Springs tell the Gazette they will keep copies of the original texts in their collections for readers who are "mature" enough to understand the context.