Washington: The American capital is set to begin the 50th anniversary celebrations of Martin Luther King`s famous civil rights march on Washington with a concert named `Reflections on peace: from Gandhi to King`.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, the US civil rights leader led a March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug 28, 1963 and delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
"Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation," King wrote in his first book "Stride Toward Freedom", an account of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the first successful large scale application of nonviolence resistance in America.
"It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking for so many months," he wrote in his chronicle of the struggle against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama.
Saturday night`s candlelight programme on Independence Avenue, which is free and open to the public, will feature sacred songs from the Indian, African, and African American traditions. The evening headline performers include Grammy Award winning singer Donnie McClurkin, and internationally renowned Sri Lankan pianist Soundarie David Rodrigo joined by Reverend Nolan Williams, Jr. and the Voices of Inspiration.
Other artists joining this tribute include Vidya and Vandan Iyer; Shankar Tucker with Jonathan Batiste; POEM-CEES, Christylez Bacon and Nistha Raj.
"Reflections on Peace from Gandhi to King honours two peace and justice leaders through the arts and celebrates their legacies in a new way," said Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
"Washington, DC is the national destination for activism and a global destination for expression through the arts," she said.
Explaining the significance of Gandhi and King, Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao, said: "The spirit of the peoples of India and the United States is joined by the inspirational call of freedom, peace and non violence. It is a powerful bond that unites us and we should forever hold it sacred in our thoughts and deeds."
`Reflections on Peace` represents an important cultural collaboration between the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Indian Embassy, according to a media release. `Reflections` is created and produced by NEWorks Productions and DESHO Productions.