A RENEWED SENSE OF OPTIMISM THE WORDS USED BY MANY ON MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY THIS YEAR.
A NUMBER OF EVENTS WERE HELD AROUND MAINE MONDAY TO COMMEMORATE THE WORK OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER… AND TO CELEBRATE WHAT SOME BELIEVE IS A FULFILLMENT OF DR. KING’S DREAM.
":I have attended a number of Martin Luther King breakfasts in the past, but this one is different in a very real way. And today, I believe that Dr. King is smiling down from heaven on this nation, as we prepare for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. (applause)":
FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVEN ROWE WAS THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT MONDAY’S ANNUAL DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR BREAKFAST CELEBRATION IN ORONO. IT’S CO-SPONSORED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE AND THE GREATER BANGOR AREA NAACP.
ROWE SPOKE ABOUT THE RENEWED SENSE OF HOPE AND TRANSITION THAT OUR SOON TO BE 44TH PRESIDENT BRINGS TO MAINE AND THE COUNTRY.
BUT, HE ALSO CAUTIONED THAT WHILE MUCH HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, DR. KING’S DREAM IS STILL UNFINISHED.
":We only need to recall that during the campaign and following President Elect Obama’s election in November, there were many offensive racists acts committed by Maine people, right here in this state.":
ROWE ALSO TALKED ABOUT THE NEED TO FULFILL DR. KING’S VISION OF ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR ALL…POINTING OUT THE VAST NUMBER OF MAINERS STILL WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE OR LIVING BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL.
":I looked at my hands, I stared at my feet, the President of the United States looks like me.":
MEMBERS OF THE U-MAINE BLACK STUDENT UNION RECITED A POEM WRITTEN BY THE BRANCH VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE NAACP AT THE MAINE STATE PRISON.
FITTINGLY ENOUGH, THE NATIONAL NAACP IS CELEBRATING ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR.