By: Tonya Jackson
Hosted by the Escambia and Santa Rosa Republican Executive Committees (REC) the All Lives Matter Event began on Friday, January 15th with the First Annual Frederick Douglass-Booker T. Washington Dinner. The approximately one hundred attendees dined on a steak dinner that featured local and national republican figures. According to Bea Thomas, Escambia County Minority Coalition President, “we are trying to bring down barriers because all lives matter.”
Thuy (Twee) Lowe, Florida’s Director of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), stated “when the idea came to me I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for us to reach out to the community, to educate the community on these three iconic figures that lead the civil rights movement. And starting with Frederick Douglass, then after Frederick Douglass was Booker T. Washington and they paved the way for the rest of the Americans to follow their lead. Martin Luther King, Jr. picked up what was left and moved along with it and now today it is our job to pick up what was left and united the community. This is not just about one life, one race, one color, one religion.”
Speakers for the event were Mike Bates, 1330AM WEBY Radio talk show host; Sam Mullin, Santa Rosa County REC Niger Innis, CORE spokesman; author K. Carl Smith; Thuy Lowe; Jennifer Carroll, 18th Lieutenant Governor of Florida; and Herman Cain, current radio talk show host and former presidential candidate.
Cain challenged those in attendance to make a difference, “To be the voice. We can’t wait for the next MLK, or the next Ronald Reagan, or the next Booker T. Washington. We can’t wait. We all have to be the voices. Look at the life of Frederick Douglass, when he learned to read it was illegal and he had a dream and he didn’t allow forces working against him to stop him from his dream. Booker T. Washington was born in slavery, but he had a dream. They were the original dreamers. We’re all familiar with the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his famous dream and his famous dream speech. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader, he was a great leader because he inspired an entire nation, black and white, and he inspired the world nonviolently.”