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The Capital City's MLK Foundation honors Leon County Judge Augustus Aikens

A man sits smiling in a dark suit and red tie.
Tom Flanigan
/
WFSU News
Lifetime Achievement Honoree Judge Augustus Aikens

The official observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is this coming Monday. But the local Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation was getting the celebration off to an early start at the soon-to-be-renamed Leon County Courthouse Wednesday, Jan. 11.

The awards presentations included lifetime achievement honors for Leon's longest-serving county judge, which was announced by State Senator Corey Simon.

"Today we honor someone who has lived a life that speaks to what Dr. King described as a 'beloved community;' Judge Augustus B. Aiken, Jr." said the senator by way of introduction.

The courthouse will be renamed for Judge Aikens after his retirement next year. Wednesday's keynote speech was delivered by nationally-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who had praise for his hometown.

Ben Crump.jpg
Tom Flanigan
Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump delivering his keynote address

"It all started here in Tallahassee! It all started with Bethel and Florida State and the Black Student Union. It started with all of us believing that we could make a better world for our children."

Monday's MLK celebration will include a parade through downtown Tallahassee, followed by multiple events at Cascades Park. One highlight will be the renaming of the amphitheater there in honor of local jazz legends Cannonball and Nat Adderley.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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