LET’S REMEMBER AND CELEBRATE

LET’S REMEMBER AND CELEBRATE

By Carl Lockett

 

 

 

On August 28, 1963, while Dr. King was speaking from his prepared remarks, Mahalia Jackson shouted from the speaker’s stand, “tell’em about the Dream, Martin, tell’em about the dream.” Dr. King pushed the text of his remarks to the side and began an extraordinary improvisation of the dream theme that would become one of the most recognizable refrains in the history of the world. Over 250,000 people from all over the country endured the sweltering heat on that August day. If Mahalia Jackson had not shouted, “tell’em about the Dream Martin,” we may never have heard the” I Have a Dream” Speech.{{more}}The MLK Day is a chance to start the year off right. If 250,000 could endure the August heat in Washington D.C. to hear Dr. King, not knowing the treat they were about to receive, surely 1,000 Abilenians will come and enjoy the celebration in the comfort of the Abilene Civic Center; enjoy a great meal; and listen to another great speaker. If you do not come you are sure to miss a great treat. The speaker this year is Dr. Ralph Draper, Superintendent of Spring Independent School District. He is known in Texas Educational circles as a dynamic educator, manager and orator. To celebrate MLK Day with the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce should be considered a duty and privilege. Our speaker, Dr. Draper, and, our theme: “Education, A Path to the Future,” were chosen with our youth in mind. The MLK Banquet Committee has been encouraging our parents, churches, and civic organizations, to purchase tickets to assist our children so that all those who want to hear this great educator and speaker will not miss this chance of a lifetime. We, who have near perfect memories of the struggle and personal experiences, must place the civil rights movement within the broader landscape of history, time past, present and future and place it within the permanent regions of our heart and memory. From there we can have perfect recall to share with our youths, and, then, these memories will never be lost or fade. We do this by ensuring that our youth join in the celebration of the victories won because of Dr. Martin Luther King and those who assisted him in the movement. Some of the memories are painful, not unlike those experienced by our military men and women returning home after living the horrors war. Yet we must not forget and we must continue to try to understand and pray for those who would deny a fellow human being racial equality, gender equality, educational opportunities, employment equality, voting rights, and reproductive rights. Use your moral imagination and try to figure out what kind of person would not want another to have healthcare benefits. There are still struggles to overcome; we must not forget. Bring your children, a neighbor’s child, other children who will not attend unless you give them a ticket. Come, let’s remember and celebrate, it may not make you feel any better, but it will remind us of how far we have come and how far we have to go.MLK Banquet, January 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Abilene Civic Center. Gold Table : $250. Open seating is $25.00 each. Call the Chamber Office: 325-672-7950 or Billy King 325-338-7372