Last Saturday’s cold morning temperature had little affect on the annual MLK Commemorative Prayer Breakfast’s attendance.
Held at the Wright Place, a culturally diverse crowd of over 200 people, from all walks of life, were in attendance.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to bring people together,” said Escambia County District 3 Commissioner, Marie Young. “Dr. King was all about unity and equality.”
Young said she believes it was Dr. King’s dream to see people from different nationalities together. She stated she was especially touched by this year’s speaker, Reverend Dr. Henry E. Roberts, because he “had a different experience, but his message was just as impactful.”
Roberts, president of the Sacred Heart Foundation, grew up in Selma, Ala. during the height of the civil rights movement.
“[Dr. King’s] legacy is important today because it keeps alive values and methods, like non-violence, for social change,” Roberts said.
The Pastor Emeritus of First United Methodist Church of Pensacola believes there’s nothing wrong with Dr. King’s dream. Instead he believes the general public is at fault if King’s “dream” isn’t realized.
“We haven’t seen the full fulfillment of those dreams,” Roberts said. “Within the last five years we’ve been involved in two wars. Nothing is more violent than war. There ought to be a new way of bringing change than violence.”
Robert L. Jackson, Chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration Commission, says violence, unfortunately, has become the status quo in some neighborhoods in Pensacola.
“If people came together and worked together, things could improve,” Jackson said. “We can’t do it if we’re separated and apart from one another. You can’t solve neighborhood problems like that.”
Jackson, who has worked the MLKCCC for over 35 years, says his biggest reason for volunteering is to help facilitate the “dream” of unity. He also said the annual MLK celebrations helps to breed understanding and love within the community.
“When people come together, they get a better understanding about each other,” Jackson said. “People who love and care about each other don’t do violent things.”