Unity Brunch honors MLK

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 16, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; The First Annual Unity Brunch was held yesterday at the Civic Center to celebrate the memory Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The brunch was the brainchild of Annie Robertson. She said she wanted something the community could attend to celebrate MLK Day, and she thought the program was a great accomplishment.

The program set up by Robertson as served as a platform to provide scholarship money to male high school students from the area. Robertson said she wanted the program to serve as a way to make the youth of the area remember and reflect on the works and goals of King.

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Master of Ceremonies for the event Gus Weiss echoed Robertson’s sentiments in his speech to those in attendance. Weiss said he wanted to celebrate the life and legacy of King on the day, but he also wanted people to continue working towards King’s goals of equality for all.

Weiss said that education is crucial to the fulfillment of King’s dream. He said he wanted the youth to be educated and reminded of King’s struggles so that the ideals of King will not fall by the wayside.

The emphasis on the education of the youth about the struggles of King was crucial in the scholarships presented at the program. Young men from across the county were encouraged to write essays on the works and effects of the struggles of King. A committee was raised to choose the five best essays out of those submitted and a $500 scholarship was presented to the author.

Robertson said the program was originally slated to hand out four scholarships but community support provided enough funds to add a fifth. Winners of the scholarship were Brandon Howard, William Seldon, Jermiah Black, Keon Maiden and Hakeem Hildreth.

The program presented a myriad of speakers and performances to celebrate the day. The Rev. Buddy Pickle of Fairhaven Baptist Church spoke to the crowd about the importance of family and the love of family and Amir Abdel-Malek, a sophomore form Demopolis High School, spoke about carrying on King’s legacy.

Abdel-Malek said there are still discrepancies in the treatment of race in the nation, but he said some people in the black community are not helping to further the cause. He said the popular culture glorifies violence and decadence while the core values are neglected.

The event also hosted other performances by youth of the area. There were several musical performances, a mime act and an interpretive dance group from Eastern Star Baptist Church.

Robertson said, due to other obligations next year, she will work with others interested in the event to remove some of the responsibilities on her for the next brunch. She said anyone interested in the event could e-mail her at robertsonannie@yahoo.com, call her at 334-289-5261 or call William Martin at 334-289-4812. She said she wanted to begin planning for the next annual brunch in the next several months.

Robertson said she wants more churches involved next year. She said she would like all churches of the county to have a get together and be a part of the process.