Political News

Triangle residents honor King's legacy

Posted January 17, 2011 4:19 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2011 8:42 p.m. EST

— Hundreds gathered in downtown Raleigh to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.

Shelley Spears said she turned out to remember how far the country has come.

“My husband is African-American,” she said. “What we’ve done made it possible for us to be together. So, it’s important to me.”

While the country has seen progress, speakers said there is still a long way to go.

“We still have segregation in some places, schools and churches,” said John Campbell, director of the Human Rights Commission.

Monday marked the 25th federal observance of King’s birthday. He was born Jan. 15, 1929, and killed at age 39.

Parents like Malcolm Logan used Monday to expose their children first-hand to King's legacy. Logan wanted his daughter to “understand the significance he played in this country.”

Robert Egford, of the United Kingdom, regarded King as a “world hero.” Egford was in the sea of signs marching down Fayetteville Street from the state Capitol to the Progress Energy Center on Monday morning.

“At the end of the day, it’s a human message and that’s what’s really important. Isn’t it?” Egford said.

Many of the people that marched down Fayetteville Street took part in a service at Meymandi Hall.

Some residents used the King holiday as a way to follow the Baptist preacher's example of service to their fellow man.

Alex Phillips, 16, spent the day at the Triangle United Way sorting shoes for those in need.

“It’s just a really great opportunity to help out people who need it,” Phillips said.

Nakia Graves used her day off of work to help out at the United Way.

“I have a heart to help people. So anything I can do, I’m all for it,” Graves said.

Keith Pillow volunteered there as a way to give back.

“I could be sitting at home doing nothing. There’s a reason for this. We’re all out here together. It’s where we want to be,” he said.

It is the sixth year the Triangle United Way has organized a day of service.