State News

Triangle honors Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Posted January 18, 2010

— The Triangle honored the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a variety of events Monday, including an interfaith breakfast, march and service projects.

N.C. remembers MLK N.C. remembers MLK

"I just take pride in my culture, in my history," said Angela Wilson, who participated in a memorial march in Raleigh.

"I come out every year," marcher Annie Mae McCullers said. "I love Dr. Martin Luther King. He was a righteous man. He was a very good man."

The national holiday kicked off with the 30th Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Breakfast at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham. Rev. William J. Barber, president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, gave the keynote address. Gov. Bev Perdue also spoke.

Speeches and song marked the 17th Annual Martin Luther King Breakfast at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville. Hundreds attended, and Fayetteville State University Chancellor James Anderson was the keynote speaker.

MLK Interfaith Breakfast 2010_02 Dr. Martin Luther King interfaith prayer breakfast

In downtown Raleigh, a replica of the Liberty Bell was rung at 11 a.m. in the Bicentennial Plaza, across from the State Capitol building.

"He had a dream, he had a vision, and he has left that vision for us," Dr. Dumas Harshaw Jr., pastor at First Baptist Church, told the crowd that braved a chilly wind.

Hundreds of people then sang "We Shall Overcome" as they marched down Fayetteville Street to the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. There, an ecumenical service began at noon, and another will take place at 5:30 p.m.

The Triangle has deep connections to King, who would have been 81 years old. King made five public appearances in Durham.

He canceled a sixth appearance in Durham at the last minute to go support striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn. That appearance had been scheduled for April 4, 1968 – the day an assassin shot King as he stood on his hotel balcony in Memphis.

Marchers reflected on how King's vision shaped life today – and what America could have been like without his influence.

"Martin Luther King opened the doors for a lot of people, a lot of black people," Montez Lindsay said. "I think it would be a lot different (without him), because I don't think whites and other ethnicities would respect black people as much as they do now."

"I probably wouldn't be standing here right now, probably wouldn't be talking to you right now," Xavier Vaughn said.

Others thought about how King's vision could be better realized in contemporary society.

"We need more jobs, more income. And stop the crime. Stop the violence," McCullers said.

Many Triangle residents, including preschoolers and college students, chose to live out King's legacy with volunteer activities.

North Carolina Central University students started building a Habitat for Humanity house at the Eagle Village Community in Durham. Sen. Kay Hagan spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The United Way of the Greater Triangle planned to give new computers to families Monday. Volunteers with NCTech4Good and Teaming for Technology organized volunteers to give the families computer training.

Durham Academy students packed 20,000 meals to be distributed by Stop Hunger Now, a Raleigh-based international hunger relief organization.

Wake Technical Community College students installed playground equipment at the QEI Child Development Center, a church-run center in southeast Raleigh.

In Chapel Hill, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority's alumnae chapter held a blood drive for the Red Cross from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Carolina Inn.

Fayetteville residents volunteered to pick up trash along the Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Duke University held a commemoration service in King's honor at Duke Chapel Sunday. The service included several musical performances, and labor activist Dolores Huerta delivered the keynote address.


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  • dws Jan 18, 2010

    "Funny thing is I would sit and listen to a speech given by MLK any day before I would sit and listen to anything the NAACP or Rev. Barber would have to say!"

    agreed.....based on the WRAL 6:00 news clip, Barber continues to widen the racial gap with his spiteful language.....

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Jan 18, 2010

    At least you are reading them, and maybe...just maybe... something will sink through your thick skull. Nah....probably not yours. However...It's not hated and it's not ignorance, not is it crass. It's simply the honest truth that you would rather not hear or consider. In that case...stop reading.

  • Fiddlemom Jan 18, 2010

    One thing about MLK that I remember to this day is his statement that he made that he looks forward to the day when a man is judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.. so true.
    Is our current president judged by the content of his character or the color of his skin? I think most Americans know the answer.

  • its about time Jan 18, 2010

    unaffiliated patriot:
    Reading your posts reminds me why a lot of North Carolinians are considered crass and ingnorant by most of the rest of the county. May you swiftly be consumed by your own hatred.

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Jan 18, 2010

    leemcfadden: Are we leaning a tad left here my bleeding heart liberal friend? Quoting or reposting information from such sources is not plagerism. It's like repeating or forwarding a joke. Isn't even in the same ballpark or even the same area code. It's merely passing along information which can be absorbed as fact...or ignored as lies and BS. Just like Obama's campaign promises.

  • Ewan McTeagle Jan 18, 2010

    Einventor: In your post, you accuse MLK of plagiarism. Interesting, then, that all but the first and last sentence of your post are plagiarized from an old (largely discredited) chain email:
    Oh, the irony...

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Jan 18, 2010

    delilahk2000....If your posts are not politically correct, if you denounce Obama or the liberals, regardless if the statement is true or not, it can and is often easily deleted or discarded by the thought police who monitor GOLO. It happens to me all the time. It's WRAL...It's the liberal and PC media at it's finest. That's also why the N&O is almost bankrupt and it's about time.

  • Unaffiliated Patriot Jan 18, 2010

    MLK didn't deserve his own holiday but he got one out of political correctness. When many government/military employees chose to work on MLK day for free, rather than take the day off where I was employed, the government powers that be made a rule that you were prohibited to work on a holiday without written permission and it had to be an emergency. Forced political correctness for show and tell....nothing ,more...nothing less.

  • Jan 18, 2010

    Let's be careful what and whom we celebrate and refuse to teach our children a lie.

    1. His name wasn't Martin Luther. It was Michael. He never legally changed his name.

    2. While working on his dissertation for his doctoral degree at Boston University, an academic committee found that over half of King's work was plagiarized and voted that revoking the title would serve no purpose. King's famous I HAVE A DREAM speech was also stolen from a sermon by Archibald Carey, a popular black preacher in the 1950's. A federal judge in the
    60's ruled that the FBI files on King links to communism to remain top-secret until 2027. Senator Jesse Helms appealed to the Supreme Court in 1983 to release the files.

    No MLK Holiday for my family, we observe real American patriots holidays.

  • delilahk2000 Jan 18, 2010