01/21/13 — Community marks MLK holiday with annual breakfast, speech

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Community marks MLK holiday with annual breakfast, speech

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on January 21, 2013 1:46 PM

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Col. Alexander Taylor Jr., a military judge from Richmond, Va., speaks at the city's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration this morning.

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El-Fatih Chase sings with the Continental Children Community Choir during the city of Goldsboro and Wayne County's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration at Goldsboro-Raleigh District Assembly this morning.

Repeating the words from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "drum major" sermon, delivered just two months before his assassination in 1968, Damesha Smith called the more than 200 attendees at the city of Goldsboro's annual celebration of the life of King to order this morning.

The echoing acoustics within the Raleigh-Goldsboro District Assembly sanctuary lent an authenticity to the words, in which King asked his congregation to lead the world as personified examples of justice, peace and righteousness.

Her words kicked off the city's 25th year of setting aside the day for King, who would have celebrated his 84th birthday Jan. 16.

Following a performance of uplifting melodies from the Continental Children Community Choir which brought members of the audience to their feet, the program's special speaker, Col. Alexander Taylor Jr., came to the pulpit.

A military judge from Richmond who has been involved with community service his entire life, Taylor spoke of what an honor it was to see his face on the front of the event program, inset from a larger photograph of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Washington, D.C., which was unveiled in 2011.

On President Barack Obama's public inauguration day, Taylor invoked the president's words concerning the journey of black Americans to equality which he had delivered in 1990, after being elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.

"You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don't get a chance," Obama said at the time.

Taylor asked for those gathered to keep that in mind as he began his speech, which he called "Living the dream, regardless."

Despite the ability to hold the highest office in the land and attend any university, there were still steps toward equality that are yet to be achieved.

He said that the choir's words -- which asked those gathered to live on, pray on and fight on -- were important undertones to the celebration, which he said would show how close the world is to realizing King's dream.