NCCU chancellor, Johnson Akinleye to be grand marshal of MLK parade


N.C. Central University’s chancellor will be the grand marshal for Spectacular Magazine’s “NC MLK Black History Month Parade & Block Party.”

The Feb. 3 festivities begin at noon on Fayetteville Street and will mark the 16th year of the annual event.

Johnson Akinleye became NCCU’s 12th chancellor on June 26, 2017. He succeeded former Chancellor Debra Saunders-White, who died in November 2016.

“I am honored,” Akinleye said. “The parade and surrounding events will serve as an opportunity for the Durham community at large to celebrate the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the pioneering members that shaped Durham and North Carolina as a whole.”

The parade’s theme this year is “Remaining Awake Through the Great Revolution.” The theme comes from the title of a March 31, 1968, sermon by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

During his sermon King said, “And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, the new situation demands.”

Parade participants will form their line starting at W. G. Pearson Elementary School, march together up Fayetteville Street and end their marching at the intersection of Lawson and Fayetteville streets.

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