SC's King Day at the Dome rally going virtual in 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — For the first time in more than 20 years, a South Carolina civil rights organization isn't holding a Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally at the Statehouse.

The South Carolina NAACP will hold its annual King Day at the Dome celebration online Monday instead.

The decision was made because of COVID-19 and before security officials closed the Statehouse because of national threats of violence in the days leading up to the presidential inauguration.

The NAACP is holding an event on Zoom starting at 10 a.m. Monday. Guests include U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn and state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell.

The event plans to discuss what the NAACP and others can do to improve racial inequality in the justice system, education, economics and health care.

The NAACP held its first King Day at the Dome rally in 2000 to call for the removal of the Confederate flag from the top of the Statehouse dome.

Over the past 20 years the rally has become both a rallying point for racial equality and a place for presidential candidates and others to talk to African-American voters.