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Faith, civil rights, service a reminder of MLK's legacy

Posted January 18
Updated January 19

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— For the 36th year in the Triangle, people of all faiths came together to kick off a day of remembrance at the Martin Luther King Jr. Triangle Inter-Faith Prayer Breakfast.

Keynote speaker Rev. Mark-Anthony Middleton, pastor of Abundant Hope Christian Church in Durham, reminded those in attendance that the struggle for civil rights is an ongoing one.

"There are still battles to be fought in our revolution," he said.

"Patriotism says you should feel good that the territorial integrity of our borders is safe and no army can stand against us. Advanced patriotism makes me ask, 'Why should I have to worry about domestic armies shooting me," he asked in raising the issue of citizens shot by police.

Dache' Hardison, a senior at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, was among the first to address the crowd. She name-dropped Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland and Eric Garner, all African-Americans whose interactions with police ended in their deaths.

"In the words of Dr. King, it would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment," Hardison said.

In downtown Raleigh, more than 1,000 people participated in the annual Days of Peace march starting at the State Capitol.

People of all races and all ages braved the cold to recognize the legacy of the slain civil rights leader. Many parents marched with their children to pass along King's message of non-violent activism.

Dekevias Atkinson brought his son to the march.

"Dr. King was a revolutionary, and I think he was way ahead of his time," he said. "I think the things he stood for are just as important now as back in the '50s and '60s."

Christian Judkins, 16, said he was inspired by his parents, who were products of the civil rights era, to learn more about King and his contemporaries.

"What they did for us is really affecting us nowadays," Judkins said.

"I just wanted to spread the message that Dr. Martin Luther King had, and I feel like this is one of the best ways we can do it here in Raleigh," he added.

Knox McMillan encouraged others to see the holiday as an opportunity.

"I would ask that you not use this day as a holiday and go home and go to sleep," he said. "I would ask that you use it to further the betterment of humanity."

The march ended at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, where an ecumenical service featured a children's choir. A musical celebration was planned at the Duke Energy Center to cap the day's events.


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  • Janet Ghumri Jan 19, 2016
    user avatar

    United we stand, divided we fall.
    It seems to me that all the back-biting and inter-community division are making our country weaker. (Stirring up trouble)
    We are all Americans, period. If we look for issues, of course we'll find them, but should we put ourselves under the microscope? Isn't it more important to maintain our integrity as a nation?
    I wouldn't want to be labeled as a White -American, or European -American, those labels disect us into fractions, and we waste vital resources trying to make everyone equal. We aren't equal, because we're human. It has nothing to do with our heritage. We'll always be different, and once we accept that and apply ourselves to the bigger picture, we may find more peace.
    Adding additional stress on our LE officers isn't going to make anyone safer, it'll just cause more problems. I don't want an officer second guessing themselves when there's a situation. That can cost lives.
    Let's celebrate our differences, and be Americans, toget

  • Gilbert Woods Jan 19, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    When did you become an expert on the African American community, all 30 million?

  • Hamilton Bean Jan 18, 2016
    user avatar

    It is indeed a sad commentary on how the African American community has responded to efforts of Dr. King. There are far too many members of the African American community and culture who know NOTHING of the efforts or direction of Dr. Kings work. Rather than continuously bad mouthing the white culture for racism etc., why don't they spend their time working to raise themselves to the level described and desired by Dr. King??

  • John Gardner Jan 18, 2016
    user avatar

    Sorry, preceding. not proceeding.

  • John Gardner Jan 18, 2016
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    It is amazing to me how people like Rev. Middleton conveniently forget the circumstances immediately proceeding 99.9% of the shootings. None were sitting on a park bench minding there own business when an officer pulls up and just shoots him. C'mon really Rev.

  • Greg Klayton Jan 18, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Excellent points - Especially your last one about Christians and the news media.

  • BigWillie Johnson Jan 18, 2016
    user avatar

    Kevin, I disagree, plus I am a white Conservative Christian. Sometimes when LE confronts an individual they give conflicting demands, and do not allow enough time to comply. I expect exemplary behavior out of LE, when resolving conflicts. Most LE exhibits this behavior, but those who cannot must be held accountable.

    I am getting a kick out of the media being all warm and fuzzy to MLK as they should, but is it not a bit ironic when he was a CHRISTIAN, which on most days being one is a good reason for them to denigrate?

  • Kevin Weidner Jan 18, 2016
    user avatar

    Rev. Middleton,

    I can assure you that as long as you obey the law and follow all directions given to you by law enforcement, they won't kill you.