Celebration In Gulfport Fit For A King - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/18/03

Celebration In Gulfport Fit For A King

In Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech, he said he dreamed that one day even the state of Mississippi - a state sweltering in the heat of injustice and oppression - would be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

The children, who performed at the Little Rock Baptist Church, did their part on Saturday afternoon to help make this transformation happen.

"As we celebrate this holiday, let us remember to be thankful for the freedom we have, and strive to rededicate ourselves to the commitment for a better future for our children and our children's children," said Gulfport Deputy Council Clerk Ronda Washington.

At Gulfport's 18th annual MLK celebration, in the midst of song, prayer, and thanksgiving, the theme was to teach young people the power of nonviolence.

"No longer segregated schools, facilities, no longer poll taxes, the right to vote, to live, to travel, to work where we want to. All of these came about through nonviolent actions," said guest speaker Senator Barbara Blackmon of Canton.

"We have come a long way, and we rely upon them to take us even further. Dr. King died, so that they may have the kinds of opportunities that they have, and it is incumbent upon our children to keep the dream alive and to carry the torch for this next generation of all people," said Blackmon.

And in this generation of crime, drugs, and possibly war, these children will have a heavy torch to bear.

But there is strength in numbers.

Senator Blackmon said although advances have been made, we still have a long way to go to fulfill Dr. King's dream.

She said until we integrate socially, economically and politically, we have not fulfilled the dream of Dr. King.

By Karla Redditte

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