By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on January 16, 2012 1:46 PM
Members of St. Mark Dancers for Christ perform this morning at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration. Hundreds of local residents turned out -- and vowed to preserve the civil rights icon's legacy.
Dr. Joel Wallach tells those who gathered at today's service to take better care of their bodies after revealing that Coretta Scott King told him just before her death that her late husband wanted to fight health inequity.
He was with Coretta Scott King just a few months before her death -- and listened as one of the world's most famous widow's revealed the next fight her late husband would have waged had he not been assassinated.
But he wasn't a politician or a preacher.
He wasn't a young civil rights activist being asked to carry the torch.
Joel Wallach was, quite simply, a man dedicated to enhancing human health -- a veterinarian turned naturopathic physician.
"As I sat there with her, she told me that Dr. King's next (cause), had he lived, was health inequity," Dr. Wallach said.
Hundreds of local residents converged on the Goldsboro-Raleigh Assembly Monday morning for several hours of fellowship -- and to vow to preserve the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
And with that meeting with King's widow still fresh in his mind, Wallach's remarks reflected what he has believed ever since that encounter.
Americans -- particularly blacks -- would live longer if they compensated for the nutritional deficiencies.
"It's not a genetic thing," he said. "It's a lifestyle thing."
Gone, Wallach said, are the days when Americans ate from gardens that were saturated by wood ash with the minerals needed to sustain a healthy life.
And instead, people get sick more -- and turn to a health care system more concerned with getting paid than curing whatever ails the person seeking relief.
So he asked those who attended this morning's function to do themselves and their loved ones a favor -- to supplement their diets with vitamins and minerals that could increase lifespans by decades.
That fight, he said, might have already been won had King met a different fate on April 4, 1968.