The University of South Carolina hosted an event called, “Freedom Rings: An artistic celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.” on Sunday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.
Previously known as the Gospel Fest, this performing arts show displayed an array of musical performances and spoken word pieces to honor Dr. King’s legacy. The event featured artists from the Midlands who illustrated what King means to them, and how he continues to inspire them 50 years after his death.
Jim “Soni” Sonefeld of Hootie & the Blowfish expressed the power of, “love, empathy, and lifting up each other” as he sang a rendition of “Hold My Hand,” complete with a band and backup vocals.
Other artists, such as the Columbia Children’s Community Choir, Resonance Quartet, Columbia City Ballet, the Terrence Young Band, and the Carolina Collegiate Super Choir also projected values of peace, faith, and unity throughout their performances.
At a speech in Charleston in 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I’m not going to preach a philosophy of ‘Burn, baby, burn!’ I’m going to say, ‘Build, baby, build!”
This inspirational and educational evening reminded the audience that building a vibrant and united community is the best way to overcome adversity and keep moving forward.