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Image for The Unveiling of the E.J. Marshall Portrait at Marshall Middle School
To kick off the 32nd MLK Weekend Festival in Plant City, the Improvement League of Plant City and the Plant City Photo Archives presented a portrait of Mr. Edward Jackson Marshall to Marshall Middle S

The Unveiling of the E.J. Marshall Portrait at Marshall Middle School

January 15, 2018

On Friday, January 12, the Improvement League of Plant City and the Plant City Photo Archives presented a portrait of Mr. Edward Jackson Marshall to Marshall Middle School.

Marshall Middle School is named after Mr. E.J. Marshall, who in 1920 persuaded Plant City to deed property to the school board for a facility to educate African Americans. Mr. Marshall was also the first African American to serve as a school trustee in the Plant City area. In 1951, the school was converted into a high school and in 1995 Marshall was made into a middle school.

This portrait donation and unveiling comes at a perfect time as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy. Marshall’s Principal, Daphne Blanton, welcomed dignitaries and opened her doors to the Plant City Improvement League as they kicked off the 32nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival with an opening ceremony and luncheon. 

Entertainment for the ceremony included fourth and fifth graders from Lincoln Elementary Magnet and IB School who treated guests to a drumline medley and sang from their heart, and Marshall’s Gentlemen’s Quest Club performed acappella and recited inspirational words reflecting Dr. King’s beliefs.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Parade was held in Plant City this past Saturday. Numerous Hillsborough County Public Schools participated including Strawberry Crest and Plant City High School bands, Lincoln Elementary's Headstart Program, Marshall Middle and Turkey Creek Middle School's Band and Gentlemen’s Quest Club, and Marshall’s Ladies’ Quest Club. Alum from Plant City High School and Marshall, and School Board Member Melissa Snively were part of the precession as well.

While schools are closed on Monday, January 15, let’s remember it is a day to honor and celebrate a man who even after his death, fifty-years-ago, still continues to inspire us and unite us. This is a “Day On, Not a Day Off” to serve others in our community.

The Improvement League of Plant City is partnering with Carefest to host a two-day event on Monday, January 15, and Saturday, January 20, with a day of community service. In honor of Dr. King, on January 15 the Plant City Lion’s Club will be out at Marshall Middle School to beautify the campus grounds.

For more information about Marshall Middle School, visit http://marshall.mysdhc.org/ or follow them on Twitter: @HCPSMarshallMS

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