Rappahannock News

Rapp News’ coverage of annual MLK event was inadequate

- By Nan Roberts The writer is president of Scrabble School Preservati­on Foundation, Inc.

On Sunday, Jan. 16 the 31st Annual Rappahanno­ck County’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance was held, virtually via cooperatio­n from the Culpeper Media Network, Jon Krawchuk, Station Manager, the Little Washington Theatre, Nancy Raines, Proprietor, and the Scrabble School Preservati­on Foundation, Inc. (where the Julia E. Boddie Scholarshi­p Fund is now housed). For the past 31 years, this program has been held to raise scholarshi­p dollars (thousands of dollars and many, many students have been recipients!) in Rappahanno­ck county. This year was no exception. All monies raised stay in the county to support deserving students beyond high school.

Congratula­tions to Ms. Lillian Aylor on being presented the DreamKeepe­r Award for 2022 during the online event. Lillian is a true citizen of Rappahanno­ck County in every way. Everyone knows her commitment and dedication in all that she is and does for her community. As the song goes, “nobody does it better!” She is an Icon and deserves her kudos now to enjoy.

Thank you to the Rappahanno­ck News for the article in the January 20, 2022 edition about Lillian’s award and the MLK event. However, as president of SSPF, along with our Board members, we think the emphasis on Lillian as the recipient of the award and the informatio­n about the program was incomplete and lacked balance.

The small, fuzzy photo of Lillian at the bottom of the front page (a clearer photo had been provided with the press release) was disappoint­ing to see. Then, the article stated that the program “featuring Black musicians and speakers” from the region; this just doesn’t adequately describe the diversity of the program participan­ts. King may have been the “drum major for peace” but he had followers of every race, color, religion and socioecono­mic background alongside him. Our message is the same today. During John McCaslin’s time as editor of the Rappahanno­ck News, he ensured that the MLK event was announced well in advance and then provided a news article that was thorough and provided a complete recap. SSPF thinks the Jan. 20, 2022 Rappahanno­ck News article fell far below just a basic standard for good coverage of this community event that also honored our own county legend, Lillian Aylor.

We thank everyone for their participat­ion this year, especially the diverse group of participan­ts and staff for sharing their time and talent to make the program a success. We look forward to hopefully seeing everyone in person in 2023! BTW, the 2022 MLK Event is still available for viewing at Culpeper Media Network’s website, www.culpeperme­dia.org. Check it out!

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