The theme of the annual black-tie event, which is in its eighth year, is “Stand Up and Answer the Call.”
Perkins, a computer consultant, defeated one-time segregationist Mayor Joe Smitherman in a September 2000 runoff to become mayor of Selma, marking a turning point in the city’s long history of racism.
Smitherman had been mayor of the city of 20,000 that is nearly two-thirds black for all but one year since 1964, the year before the Bloody Sunday march, in which state and county officers attacked marching blacks at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
It took Perkins eight years and three attempts to unseat Smitherman, who denounced his segregationist past, hired a black police chief, and held barbecues in black neighborhoods to endear himself to black constituents.
Perkins, who was defeated on his third re-election bid in 2008, is now seeking the Democratic nomination for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, which stretches from downtown Birmingham to Tuscaloosa and includes much of the state’s Black Belt.
The King Gala, which is sponsored by the school’s PTSA, raises money for the PTSA Scholarship Fund that benefits deserving college-bound M.L. King Jr. High School seniors.
The gala begins at 6 p.m. with a silent auction featuring original artwork and unique gift items. The dinner and formal program start at 7 p.m.
Sir Markadoo, owner of Heavenly Body Products in Decatur, will be the evening’s master of ceremonies.
Tickets are $50 each. Sponsorship and ad opportunities are still available as well as the opportunity to donate items for the silent auction. Donations are tax-deductible.
M.L. King Jr. High School is at 3991 Snapfinger Road in Lithonia.
For more information, e-mail rsvp email@example.com or call 678-874-5451.