Hearse used to carry Martin Luther King Jr. to be in Lake Charles

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, February 3, 2022

The city of Lake Charles, McNeese State University and the Ward 3 Marshal’s Office will present “Carry on the Dream,” a touring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Exhibit, Feb. 7-10 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Free and open to the public, the exhibit includes the hearse that carried King’s body and screenings of the documentary “I Am MLK Jr.” which celebrates the life and character of King.

McNeese’s involvement in the exhibit is provided via it’s Reginald F. Lewis Scholars program which aims to enhance the collegiate experience of black males students in the University of Louisiana System. Krisshunn Youngblood, McNeese director and chief diversity officer, said the  program also seeks to increase enrollment and retention of black male students.

McNeese has has two scholars currently enrolled in its programs. “It’s a cohort designed to enhance the collegiate experience of black males and provide them with opportunities that range from mentorship, community experiences, academic support and cultural experiences such as study abroad.”

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Isaiah Johnson, a local Reginal F. Lewis Scholar and McNeese health and human performance, described the touring exhibit as “life-changing.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King paved the way for African American people, such as myself, by initiating a change in social justice. It is a privilege to see his exhibit and we should continue to honor his legacy,” he said.

To help commemorate the exhibit’s arrival in the city, the City of Lake Charles will host an opening reception on Monday, Feb. 7, 6-8 p.m. The reception will include remarks from local organizations, a musical selection from Jairus Daigle and the Bulber Youth Orchestra and an address by local historian Johnnie Mouton.

Regular viewing hours for the exhibit will continue Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on the exhibit tour, visit www.ulsystem.edu/rflewis-scholars/mlk-traveling-exhibit.