State News

NC marks King day with solemnity, service

Posted January 21, 2013

— With prayer, songs and good works, North Carolinians observed the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday. MLK Day of Service Events help families mark MLK Day

The annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Breakfast kicked with Oshe Pittman, a student at James Kenan High School in Warsaw, delivering the speech that inspired a nation and the world. He interspersed quotes from President Barack Obama's victory speech on Election Day 2008.

Several speakers including Rev. Dr. Ronald Smith, president of the Southern Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and Gov. Pat McCrory talked about Dr King's lasting legacy and his courage to fight for equality despite constant death threats.

McCrory called King a personal hero. "He challenged Americans to reach for our greatest potential and move America forward," the governor said.

In downtown Raleigh, about 2,000 people marched from the state capitol to the Progress Energy Center where they celebrated King's life and legacy.

"I'm marching for the man who wanted equal rights for all of us," said Remonia Adams. It was her 20th MLK parade.

Wake County District Court Judge Michael Morgan noted the progress made toward King's dream of equality.

"We still have a long way to go, but America and the world is a much better place because of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., " he said. Raleigh marks King Day with parade Prayers, parade, service projects mark King holiday

Melody Ray-Welborn cited the diversity of the crowd as a reason for celebration. She was among many parents who brought their children out to Monday's celebration.

"I think it's special that we're all recognizing what an important day today is, and how important it is to be good to others and kind to others regardless of skin color, or background or how they're the same or different from all of us," she said. 

A day of doing in Durham

The United Way's annual Day of Service was expected to draw thousands across four counties to dozens of projects that ranged from making baby blankets to assembling meals and CPR training.

Madeleine Gonzalez, a 16-year-old volunteer, said her work on King Day had a wider application. "I really feel this is something I can use in the real world," she said.

Lakia Gould and Alexyss Hargrove, both 10, were also among those learning and serving at the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham. 

"We learned some stuff about Martin Luther King, and how to help people out," Alexyss said. 

"Because he did so much things in his life that it changed the world," Lakia added.

Brooke Huang and Vany Nguien, both 15, made teddy bears for less-fortunate children. 

"I don't know where they will end up, but I hope they end up somewhere they are needed," said Brooke.

"We're so privileged and have a good life, and we have a roof and we have food, and a lot of people don't have what we have, so we need to give back to our community and share our benefits," Vany said. 

NC guests visit MLK memorial

A quirk in the calendar pushed President Barack Obama's public swearing-in in Washington onto King holiday and, in the nation's capital, North Carolinians marked the convergence. 

At the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington on Monday morning, Nicole Hailey, 34, and her family from Monroe, N.C., made a point of coming to the memorial before staking out a spot on the National Mall for the inauguration. "It's Martin Luther King's special day," she said. "We're just celebrating freedom."

More North Carolinians will celebrate in Washington Monday evening when the state Democratic Party hosts an inaugural ball Monday evening on Fort Myer just outside the city.


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  • free2bme Jan 22, 2013

    kermit60- I am a minority and I did not get any special scholarships or special priviledges for being so. Actually I had to do more than others to even get a chance. One of my college roommates found out my race and told me that she has never lived with anyone of another race. She then told me that she was moving out. She stayed there one day and then moved in with someone of her own race. As it turns out she and that person did not get along and we later had a class together. We studied together and actually she got along better with me. That is only one incidence of prejudice I have had to deal with in my lifetime out of many. So kermit60, you have no clue and no idea. I was never given anything because of my race other than mistreatment. You really are talking without knowing truth. The sad thing is that people like you are a part of the problem and probably will never change.

  • kermit60 Jan 22, 2013

    free2bme-treat others like you want to be treated regardless of what they look like?
    Yes I would. I would like the special preferance for being a minority. I would like the to take advantage of the scholorships and tuition assistance set aside for minorities only. I would like to scream "hate crime" but I can't because I'm white. I would like to have a race card to throw every time things don't go my way, but again I'm white. I would like to see an NAAWP but that would be considered racist. Maybe a white actors guild or Ms White America. How about an Ivory magazine or white actor awards. Possibly a white entertainment television or a white congressional caucus. Seems to me there are many things that are unfair or unequal. The question is who is being treated unfairly.

  • free2bme Jan 22, 2013

    Some of the comments here ring clear that there is so much more work to be done. Dr. King's dream of equality for all people regardless of race, gender, nationality has not been realized and that is very clear from some of the negative/divisive comments below. Some people will never change I guess but hopefully the younger ones can catch hold to what the right thing to do is-- treat others like you want to be treated regardless of what they look like.

  • trekkie13 Jan 21, 2013

    What I find amusing also is fellow conservatives who buy hook, line and sinker to use an old expression that MLK would have been a Republican conservative today. MLK would probably be one of Obamas biggest supporters on political issues today.

  • wildpig777 Jan 21, 2013

    i think we should have a Jefferson Davis day, he sacrificed so much for my heritage and others in nc.

  • trekkie13 Jan 21, 2013

    issymayake stated: "Yeah MLK was pretty liberal. So was Jesus. Both were martyrs for their cause because of evil men, and the lack of interference from just men.

    But if that's what you reduce anyone's total person to. . liberal or conservative, I truly pity your lack of introspection."

    Jesus was neither conservative nor liberal. Also, from a moral stand point MLK was no Jesus. The fact of the matter is that many of the views of MLK were socialist which is in direct contradiction to the founding principles of our republic. Of course that has been conveniently whitewashed and overlokked by the liberal establishment that has elevated MLK to idol status.

  • wildpig777 Jan 21, 2013

    Yeah MLK was pretty liberal. So was Jesus. Both were martyrs for their cause because of evil men, and the lack of interference from just men. -- issy

    thats blasphemy whether you know it or not. i find personally insulting.

  • issymayake Jan 21, 2013


    Very true statements. America isn't quite there, and will probably never be there. But I am glad, and proud, that we are much, much better for the civil rights movement, and the contributions of Martin Luther King and many others to America's moral compass.

  • issymayake Jan 21, 2013

    Actually, the schools do not teach the truth but rather the politically correct version of him. With each passing year more and more Americans are coming to the realization that this is nothing but a liberal politically correct holiday that has made an idol out of someone for lack of a better term.

    Yeah MLK was pretty liberal. So was Jesus. Both were martyrs for their cause because of evil men, and the lack of interference from just men.

    But if that's what you reduce anyone's total person to. . liberal or conservative, I truly pity your lack of introspection.

  • Bartmeister Jan 21, 2013

    I can remember my mother saying horrible racist things about Dr. King in front of our maid atheistswillrule


    And at that time it was a widely accepted point of view. The same with my grandmother. I don't fault that generation for their beliefs, it was how they were raised and what they knew. But I don't and didn't hold such anger towards my grandmother for it. And we didn't even employ blacks like your family did.