Recognition of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior often brings with it reflection of the past and optimism for the future. Both were experienced in downtown Lexington Monday. Gwendalin Cowan was one of the estimated 14 hundred participants at the annual Unity Breakfast. She says paying homage to Reverend King each year is important, but his message calls for a day to day commitment.
“The mind can’t be legislated nor can the heart…it has to be an internal working…which I happen to think comes from his very background..it’s through Christ…that’s what changes the heart,” said Cowan.
Long time Lexington journalist Al Smith offered the unity breakfast his thoughts on civil rights. He posed this ‘what if’ scenario about King and anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela.
“We all stand on King’s shoulders, black and white, and if he had lived as long as Mandela … we might be standing even taller today,” said Smith.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says what’s inspiring about the Martin Luther King activities is how they set the relationship standard for another year. Gray says it’s important to act on that call each day.
“We can always improve in the way that we work together..and that often means identifying who’s doing what..and how we can better communicate…better collaborate..better organize ourselves without compromising the spirit of individual work,” added Gray.
The morning’s events included the march through downtown Lexington and a program in the Convention Center’s Heritage Hall.