King celebrated through the rain

caines | 4/11/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Forty-fifth anniversary of Kings assassination recognized Hundreds of Miami residents came together on April 4 to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Reclaim the Dream: Building on the Future, the 10th annual MLK march and candlelight memorial service in Liberty City, which recognized the 45th anniversary of Kings assassination. King once said no person has the right to rain on your dreams and although the forecast predicted a rain storm, residents, organizations and community leaders, came together to prove that his dream still lives on. The event sponsored by Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation, the City of Miami, the Belafonte Tacolcy Center and Miami-Dade County started with a ceremonial march led by the Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a prayer and a recital of Kings famous I Have A Dream speech. And although more activities were scheduled to take place including a Gospel concert, featuring Karen Clark Sheard and Malcolm Hawkins due to the weather, which brought about technical difficulties, the show did not go on. Yet, attendees continued to celebrate the life of King through conversation. We do this event each year to bring the community together, to honor Dr. King, to remember what he stood for, why were here and to help everyone have a renewed spirit of what his dream was, said Christine King, esq., the director of the event and the president/CEO of the Martin Luther King Economic Development Center. She recognized that theres still a lot of work to be done, theres a lot of violence going on, however King shares that there were no violent incidents at any of the services for the past ten years. She also describes the event as a holistic and unifying experience that is held to uplift the community. We lock arms and come together, which shows that we as a community are more than violence. Anderson Eldridge, president of the Beta Beta Lambda chapter, said that recognizing Dr. King is important to his chapter because of Kings impact during the civil rights movement and because he was also a part of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Every year when we see the people smile and clap during our procession, it is always a good feeling and it shows [us] that the community is coming together. Leora Whitaker, 72, who attended the beginning of the event with a couple of friends, said she was thankful for King for many reasons, including the love he had for all people, his dream of different races coming together, his Christian fawith and his righteous lifestyle. We needed somebody to show us the way and help us, because no matter how much we know we dont know it all and I thank God for Dr. Martin Luther King. Other community members, including LaTousha Daniels, Rev. Hariette Wilson-Greene and Angela Canty, attended the event to commemorate the life of Dr. King and to enjoy the scheduled Gospel concert. Karen Clark Sheard, four-time Grammy Award-winning music artist, described the event as great, even though it was cut short. I was honored to be asked to be involved and Im always open to be a part of a worthy cause because MLK paved the way for everybody in all facets of life and . . . of ministry. Rev. Robert Jackson of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, who was scheduled to speak at the event, believes that the effort, although there was an interruption brought on by rain, was significant. Well its important just to make the sacrifice because of the sacrifice that Dr. King made for all of us, he said. Even though it was an unwitting sacrifice, it was a sacrifice nonetheless and part of our community has to begin to understand how important sacrifices are, even in the midst of things that may come up against us. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com