*Remember the recent story on EURThisNThat showing a flier with a gold-chain-wearing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? It promoted a “Freedom 2 Twerk” party in Michigan, and even had Dr. King throwing up a gang hand sign. Well the “right people” apparently raised enough hell to get the party cancelled.
Reportedly, Mid-Michigan Teen Parties, a group that had a relationship with the venue because of a New Years Eve affair they through, was returning to host the event at the Social Network Banquet and Event Center, which isn’t affiliated with the party promoters. (The teen group have since deleted their Facebook page).
Though this wasn’t the first time King’s likeness and message was misused to promote an event, this time was apparently the last straw for Dr. Bernice King, daughter of the Civil Rights leader. She spoke out to Atlanta’s local Fox affiliate this week calling the imagery for the Michigan party “appalling.”
“For me, as his daughter, it’s like, ‘wow,’ I lost a father who sacrificed everything for them to live a much more dignified and respectful life, and for it to come to this makes me sad,” said King, who serves as CEO of the Atlanta-based King Center.
Similar words were spoken by Vic McEwen,owner of Social Network, who promptly voided his contract with the hosts and returned their deposit, which he could do because of a clause saying promotional materials with the venue’s name are subject to his approval.
According to WJRT-TV in Flint, McEwen also used the word “appalling” when he saw the flyer.
The venue owner even took it a step further. Obviously realizing what many online comments voiced, as well as comments made by Rev. Bernice King, these kids need a history lesson. With this in mind, McEwen will host a free community event Sunday afternoon to honor King, particularly to bring awareness of his legacy to the young people of Flint. According to MLive, local boxer Anthony Dirrell and former Michigan State University football player William Cooper will be attending to talk to teens and sign autographs.
“As an African-American man who owns a business, I have a lot of responsibility,” McEwen said, according to the New York Daily News. “This is about his legacy. Dr. King has done way too much for this country, or me, or anyone, to allow this to go on.”
Not surprisingly, this new event has a more appropriate flyer.