The powerful message of hope, and the legacy of the civil rights movement, rang throughout the auditorium of the Walt Whitman Theater of Brooklyn College, when Senator Kevin Parker hosted the 13th Annual “A Shared Dream” celebration, in conjunction with the foundation to honor late iconic leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan. 16, was named Senator Kevin Parker Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Mayor Bill deBlasio, who sent a Proclamation with Deputy Mayor, Richard Buery, to thank the politician for his commitment to honoring Dr. King’s legacy.
Addressing the gathering, Sen. Parker, who also received a Proclamation from Governor, Andrew Cuomo, said Dr. King’s Legacy is even more poignant and important today, and encouraged citizens to recommit themselves to living the legacy of Dr. King, and emphasized the importance of unity.
“Let us use today as a jump-off point to bring justice to our communities. Now more than ever, we need to trumpet the call for justice for all and come together and share in the dream,” Sen. Parker said in a compelling message to the several hundred citizens who gathered to honor the late, great, freedom fighter, during an inspirational evening of word and song.
Senate minority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer commended Sen. Parker for his dedication to the yearly “A Shared Dream” tribute, and applauded Dr. Martin Luther King’s courage and strength, and his conviction to inspire his followers to bring about change, added the ‘Shared A Dreamer’ founder.
“We have made some achievements, and even though Dr. King was at the top of the mountain, he knew he had a longer way to go, and this last election has made the path a bit longer,” said Sen. Schumer, who vowed to fight to keep the Affordable Care Act.
“We are indeed the legacy holders of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. who resides in our chest. We need to pull on the faith, strength, and the endurance he had to push forward for the liberation of our people,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
Congresswoman Clarke, who was accompanied by Dr. Una Clarke, reminded African-Americans that for generations to come, they will be singing the praises of the trailblazers of the civil rights movement that made it possible for them to be present at the celebration.
Public Advocate Letitia James fired-up the crowd, stating, “We are children of a dream. Dr. King rests, so we cannot rest. We have to raise our voices and organize. It is our faith that will keep us strong, because it does not matter how many presidents we have, we have only one God,” she said, and made reference to President Trump who she noted, disrespected civil rights activist, Congressman, John Lewis.
“We will march with arms locked together for dignity and unity, until victory is won,” she bellowed.
Rabbi Yeruehim Silber, said Dr. King’s dream must continue to endure stating , “let us keep fighting for what is right,” joining Brooklyn District Attorney, Eric Gonzalez, who added, “Dr. King gave his life and fought so I could have the opportunity to be who I am today,” echoing the same sentiments, of the President of Brooklyn College, Michelle Anderson, who invited benefactors to view the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, which now stands on campus grounds.
Board Treasurer Donna Myrie evoked the words of Dr. King that inspire “A Shared Dream Foundation,” and its commitment to celebrate and honor the late iconic leader.
Hannah Serrano sang the Star Spangled Banner, and the Negro National Anthem to open the tribute, before the invocations by Rev. Charles Galbreath of Clarendon Road Church, and Rabbi Yeruchim Silber of Borough Park Jewish Community Center blessed the festivities.
This was followed by a tribute to the ancestors, by Baba Ifayinka (Carl Fanfair) of Ile Osa Knaran Yoruba Cultural and Spiritual Center.
Emcee by WBLS/WLIB’s charming, gospel host Liz Black, the three-hour salute was punctuated by phenomenally talented artists. An African dance and drumming salute by the Brooklyn United Marching Band, garnered a standing ovation, while talented artist, Mike Willis & The Call got the audience on their feet during a spirited performance.
The stupendous vocal of recording artist, Latice Crawford, made way for VaShawn Mitchell, and his blended gospel singers, the great melody of guitarist, Dennis Worship, and comedian James Hall, all garnered loud applause from an appreciative audience during the evening’s tribute befitting Dr. King.
A touching tribute to slain African-Americans murdered while being ‘black’ were remembered with signs that read, Eric Garner, Tamar Rice, Sandra Bland, and others, to bring attention to police brutality in America.
Con Edison, Everything matters, REBNY, MetroPlus, SHARE, and CUNY, Zen Lounge, Crystal Manor, Golden Krust, Spice Catering, Inc, and Tropical Paradise, co-sponsored the three-hour tribute.