Salinans gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday afternoon.
Featured speaker U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom told those gathered “we must confront injustice wherever it is found.” Using personal experiences, Grissom spoke about how far civil rights have advanced in this country. He said, though, that there is still much work to be done. Grissom said “the fight against hate, violence, and bigotry never ends.” He pondered what Dr. King might think if he were still alive today, and evoked a quote from the late Senator Edward Kennedy. “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.”
Grissom told KSAL News that his message is very simple. “We have come a long way” he said, “but we still have along way to go to reach social justice, economic justice, the kinds of things Dr. King preached about”.
Prior to Grissom speaking, Dekeysha Cooper of Salina read a proclamation from Mayor Barb Shirley, and Private First Class Sean Udofia from St. John’s Military School read a biography he wrote on the life and legacy of Dr. King. Udofia said “it is not a black holiday, but a people’s holiday. The young people hold the key to Dr. King’s dream.”
The celebration also included performances by a community choir, and by jazz musician Joel McCray. McCray said “all of us should be dreaming about something, we are all here for a reason.”
The Sunday afternoon celebration was the marquee event of a weekend dedicated to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Friday night an open-mic presentation, “The Dream Edition,” took place at Ad Astra Books and Coffeehouse. On Saturday, the Volunteer Connection conducted a literacy program, and the annual Community Potluck Dinner was held.
On Monday, a service targeted toward youth will be held at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, 215 S. Chicago, beginning at 12 noon.