MLK Celebration “Striving for Genuine Brotherhood”

Recently heard about this event, going to go check it out. Also, Nathaniel Banks has been talking about Mo Betta, and I want to see what all the hype is about. 🙂

http://ci.champaign.il.us/2012/01/03/2012-rev-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-countywide-celebration/

 

Update 14-Jan: NG put up a review: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/people/2012-01-14/king-speaker-civil-rights-leader-pursued-genuine-brotherhood.html

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One thought on “MLK Celebration “Striving for Genuine Brotherhood”

  1. I am really glad I went to this event. They had a very impressive lineup of speakers and large support from community partners like the cities of Champaign and Urbana, the University, Parkland and Champaign County. I have to admit, it was strange hearing WCIA anchor Jennifer Roscoe talk about “brotherhood”. 🙂 Nathaniel Bank’s Mo Betta did a great job, and it was awesome seeing those kids showcase their talent.

    A couple things stuck out to me. First, I did not realize that so many people were taking an active interest in what I would consider local significant issues. And with so much support from area figures! And in the back of my head I hear “then why do we have so many problems?” I think I may have found the answer to that. Go look at the news; I only pay attention to the news that is online, but my experience tells me that the TV and radio broadcasts are quite similar to what is online. The newspaper and both TV stations are clamoring about investigations at the University over some “anonymous” email, talking about a dead lawyer, people getting arrested, etc. I didn’t see a lick of a mention about the MLK Celebration. Or even any of the great work that folks are receiving prestigious recognition for.

    Many good things were said. Two individuals I thought were particularly impactful. Carlos Donaldson delivered a powerful, short, almost sermon-like “thank you” speech, laced with the need to love God and love each other, to be strong and do what is good. The other was the keynote speaker, Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul. Kwame has a warm, almost shy personality, not what I expected one in his position. 🙂 He had some awesome things to say and I hope I can find a copy online. I was struck by his sincerity, his genuineness, his depth. His message dealt with “brotherhood”, and how “we can choose our friends, but we cannot choose our brothers. And yet, we must love our brothers.” He used his vast experience with Haiti and the relief efforts over there to emphasize how brotherhood is not “just flipping a coin at a beggar”. He spoke of making relationships with folks on the other side of the aisle, an obvious reference to his political dealings, but an important lesson in every-day life as well.

    I believe at one point he said our job is to “alleviate injustice.” If that is indeed what he said, I must disagree most vehemently – our job is to completely eradicate injustice! Injustice is not something to be tolerated. At all.

    I had the honor of shaking hands and meeting many folks; Champaign City Council Member Will Kyles, Dr. Wiegand (again), and Housing Authority Chairperson Alfred Anderson to name a few. And I chatted a little with Jamar Brown, who told me that “anybody who’s anybody” usually shows up to this first night of a week-long celebration. Indeed, I did see lots of familiar faces.

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