Honoring MLK

Morgan Barbet, Staff Reporter

Each year, the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice sponsors a celebratory dinner honoring the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s event was held on Monday, Jan. 18, and was the 29th annual dinner of its kind. For each year’s dinner, a theme is selected to frame the focus of the event. This year’s theme was called “Silent No More” and was based around a famous quote from King,

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

Past themes included: “The time is always right to do the right thing,” “Drum major of Justice and Peace,” and many others.

The agenda of the celebration included performance poetry, the announcing of the 2016 MLK Holiday contest winners, a speech given by 2016 Oratory contest winner Makia Peyton, videos and polling questions on racial issues, and two featured speakers: Jocelyn Benson, and Rev. Tyrone Martin. All items on the agenda contributed to the idea that individuals should speak out when they witness injustice, even if it is not directly related to us. Like King once said,

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects us all indirectly.”

Eastland Middle School Principal Major Mickens has attended the annual Martin Luther King Dinner for the last 8 years. “I feel this is an outstanding event. It is important for Macomb county to recognize the accomplishments of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Each year I am amazed at the level of artwork, poems and speeches that the students of Macomb County Schools students create for the contest.  It is important for  the next generation to not lose sight of the lesson learned for the past.” Mickens said.

The celebration served as a reminder of all that Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, and truly was a touching experience for those in attendance. As each year passes, and the legacy of King is another year distant, the challenge is to remember what he stood for, and the need to continue the work he began more than 50 years ago.