HANFORD, CA--As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. events throughout the Central Valley commence, commemorating his birthday, originally January 15, 1929, the 11th annual celebration in Hanford, CA, hosted by the Kings County NAACP reminds citizens of the rich African-American culture and history that resides closely in the community.
Beginning with a celebration of African dance and drum, along with poetry reflective of the black experience, young high school and middle school students from Hanford express the importance of Dr. King's struggle and the need to continue his dream today.
After almost 50 years, the most popular King speech, "I Have a Dream," is often mistaken for its passive, empowering ending, where often times people leave out the part of the speech that uses the metaphor about cashing in a "bad check."
“We’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir…Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’ But we refuse to believe that bank of justice is bankrupt.”
Keynote speaker and community advocate Barigye McCoy questions if we are still living King's original dream.
"God has gave us something special; it's called free will; each and everyday of our lives we are given the opportunity to wake up and ask our selves who do we want to serve. Are we going to walk out that house being of wrong and evil or are we going to walk out that house being what Jesus has shown us."
McCoy challenged the audience to evaluate "human rights," as we have already been given our Civil Rights.
Watch excerpts of the event online here.