A Dream Fulfilled?

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The accomplishments of the first African-American president were not far from the minds of those who celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King in Lawrence County’s 18th annual observance.

The community came together Monday night in words, song and dance to show their appreciation for the legacy of the slain civil rights leader who would have celebrated his 80th birthday this past Thursday.

Children from the Youth Ministry of the New Jerusalem Christian Center performed a dance to “In Need of an Angel,” while Deotis Conwell, second vice president of the Lawrence County NAACP, lead the group in choruses of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

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Conwell also made remarks noting that currently 70 percent of blacks are born out of wedlock, 55 percent of the prison population is made up of blacks and 53 percent finish high school.

“Dr. King would be a little disappointed,” he said.

The keynote speaker, Cicero Fain III, a history professor at Marshall University was 9 years old when an assassin’s bullet felled King.

“That … shocked me, shook me to my core and made for an angry young man for many years after,” Fain told the audience at the Bowman Auditorium on the campus of Ohio University Southern Campus.

However citing statistics Fain said the future demographic for the world will be a majority of those with multi racial backgrounds.

“More like Obama and less like George Bush,” He said. “Today 85 percent of the world is comprised of people of color. The Obama election and the Obama family represent their dreams, hopes and pigmentation. He articulates and embodies progression.

“He will make mistakes. He doesn’t walk on water. He is a man. Tomorrow and for as long as we can let us bask in a new dawn of endless possibilities. Martin Luther King is smiling from on high.”