FRESNO, CA--It was the midst of a slightly foggy day with a brash of cold Central Valley air where over 250 people gathered in front of St. John's Cathedral to honor the Civil Rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.and March on Washington through symbolically marching, although a short distance, around the corner to Fresno's city hall building.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee has managed the MLK Day weekend festivities in Fresno for over 30 years, as a way to remind people of the work yet to be done, and also how far the community has come.
In the array of speeches atop the City Hall steps, as the people gathered in pockets below, using a testy sound system, a message that was loud and clear came from District 3 Councilman Oliver Baine's speech which addressed President Donald Trump's "shithole" comment in regards to black immigrants from Haiti and Africa.
Baines spoke of his Republican friends, encouraging them to also speak up for what is not right for the sake of people versus a party allegiance.
Unfortunately the passionate words coming from Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula who stood from the ground with the people speaking through a bullhorn could only faintly be heard.
Congressman Jim Costa spoke powerfully of the work to be done with DACA and other Central Valley issues, preceded by Councilperson Esmeralda Sorio who spoke of the same sentiments.
After the community leaders spoke, crowds hesitated to grip the damp cold to enjoy the cultural groups performing or speed off to the Fresno Convention Center where they thought there were also performances commences--unfortunately this was listed on the flyer produced by the MLK committee but not clear during the program that all performances would be outside below on the circle cement stage--so some audience members appeared disoriented or misinformed.
What was very clear as the people came together that day, was they support the vision of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and are dedicated to the continued work it will take to get there.
Watch full video on the ONME Network starting Jan. 17th: http://www.onmetv.com