Today Beacon recognizes Martin Luther King Day with participation of hundreds of Beaconites marching in a parade organized by the Springfield Baptist Church on Mattie Cooper Square, among other events happening in Beacon. Marchers walked the icy streets on a slightly warmer winter day, singing in a quiet chorus to help create the feeling of peace and unity.
|Rev. Mattie Ophelia Cooper in the |
pulpit of the Springfield Baptist
Church in Beacon, NY circa 1970s
from the UUPATT website.
In addition to celebrating Martin Luther King, this is a great moment to also recognize the Rev. Mattie Ophelia Cooper (pastor and organizer of the Springfield Missionary Baptist Church in Beacon, NY), who was one of many community game changers for Beacon, in part by starting the Mattie Cooper Scholarship Fund, an annual award given to a Beacon High School student at graduation. According to the scholarship's webpage at UUPATT, this scholarship was initiated "in or around June of 1962, because of her desire to see children of color receive an award during graduation, something that rarely happened back when she first started going to the graduation programs at Beacon High School."
See a snippet of the march here: