'If Martin Luther was living, he wouldn't let this be…'
Martin Luther King Day - January 17, 1994
Michael Jackson opened his Neverland Ranch in a Martin Luther King Day celebration for 100 inner-city children who excelled in school.
Jackson spent Saturday mingling with the children, posing for photographs and signing autographs. The children watched the movie “Beethoven’s 2nd” in Jackson’s theater and then visited his amusement park and zoo.
"This was a reward for them, and especially on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., it is a very special occasion. These kids will never forget. We thank Michael for making this an even more memorable day," said Chilton Alphonse, founder of South Central Los Angeles’ Community Youth Sports and Arts Foundation.
Fifty of the children came from Alphonse’s organization, and the other 50, from Second Baptist Church.
”Michael has been a friend for the past five or six years and he’s been very generous to us,” Alphonse said by telephone from Neverland. “You hear all these negative things and I don’t believe them. A man is innocent until proven guilty.”