Local News

With Obama, King's 'dream' realized, some say

Posted January 19, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Remembering the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hundreds of people of all ages and generations marched through downtown Raleigh Monday morning – one of several celebrations happening throughout the Triangle on the eve of the inauguration of the nation's first black president.

MLK March March brings new meaning to King's legacy

In his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial more than 45 years ago, the Baptist minister from Atlanta spoke powerfully of his desire for all races to peacefully live with one another and be judged not by the color of their skins, but by the content of their character.

That dream has become a partial realization for some who took part in Monday's march as the nation prepares for President-elect Barack Obama to take the oath of office Tuesday.

"It means a whole lot to me," said Brenda Spencer. "It means so much. I just can't express my feelings today. I just feel like crying today. His dream came true."

"I've seen this movement grow and change, and it is such an honor to be a part of this march today," said Weldon Egerton, who said he couldn't imagine a black U.S. president when he graduated from a segregated high school. "This is a march of change. It's not like the marches we used to do. This is a different march. It's more like a march of victory."

Observances of King's memory – he was assassinated at age 39 on April 4, 1968, while standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tenn. – began last Thursday on what would have been his 80th birthday and continue throughout the week with prayer and community service projects in his honor.

Monday's events began with the 38th annual Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast in Durham, with Gov. Bev Perdue addressing attendees. A replica of the Liberty Bell rang in King's honor in the plaza outside the North Carolina Museum of History.

Among other events was an ecumenical observance Monday at Meymadni Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center in downtown Raleigh. Fayetteville State University scheduled a free concert to pay tribute to King at Seabrook Auditorium at 7 p.m.

Speaking at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Obama noted the symbolism of the holiday's proximity to his inauguration.

"I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States of America will endure, that it will prevail, that the dream of our founders will live in our time," he said.


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  • shep8851 Jan 21, 2009

    street fightin man::: well said....

  • streetfightinman Jan 21, 2009

    DR.KING certanly did not want any race black or white
    to be dependant solely on the government for free handouts,
    take pride in yourself, be independent and help solve problems,
    instead of being the problem.

  • shep8851 Jan 20, 2009

    I'm old enough to remember clearly Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech--especially the part "...judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin". Judged by the content of their character?? Obviously, this part has not been realized. Not when such a percentage of the young African American community is engaged in drug sales/use; violent crimes, etc.- unquestionably issues of character. When far too many of the African American community have allowed themselves to become dependent on the welfare/social assistance systems, and as a result of that dependence, have no sense of responsibility for themselves, and no ambition to rise above their situation. As a matter of character, what does it say when individuals and groups quickly and automatically blame the white community/government for their situation?? What does it say about character when the trite, well used cry of "racism" is thrown out whenever the issue of self-responsibility is raised?

  • CrewMax Jan 19, 2009

    "you guys certainly prove that Dr King's work is not done. Racism seems to be alive and well in the greater Raleigh area."
    Not just Raleigh - the whole nation. How do you think Obama got elected?

  • UNCTAR Jan 19, 2009

    to all the posters who only see one color, remember Obama is half white.

  • bettyboopr2 Jan 19, 2009

    I have no problem speaking to someones face. I am not a politically correct person and don't pretend to be. I will not have someone tell me what I can and cannot say. I will speak my mind. If I don't think things are being taken care of fairly I will let you know.

  • tinker11212 Jan 19, 2009

    "That is the great thing about freedom of speech. We have the freedom to speak and not be prosecuted. OOPS, only if you are not white"

    Oh yeah, and it is obvious that the character betty boop never picked up a "book". Great screen name...it suits you...

  • tinker11212 Jan 19, 2009

    "That is the great thing about freedom of speech. We have the freedom to speak and not be prosecuted. OOPS, only if you are not white"

    funny how "freedom of speech" is practiced mainly behind a screenname. people know when they speak ignorance, they would never say it to someones face...

  • bettyboopr2 Jan 19, 2009

    But in case you can't find one, basically it was to have ingnorance (that is rampant on this comment section) cease...

    That is the great thing about freedom of speech. We have the freedom to speak and not be prosecuted. OOPS, only if you are not white.

  • singularity1111 Jan 19, 2009

    "I believe Mr. King would roll in his grave if he could see how the country has turned. His teachings were to inspire the Black community to come together and to take a part in the process. Not to sit at home and collect government money."

    Wow. Stereotype much?