Keeping the dream alive
Published 5:10 am Wednesday, January 20, 2010
By By Chandler Myers
Atmore took time to honor and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday as the the national holiday named in his honor brought crowds together for a parade and a post-parade celebration at Escambia County High School.
Signed into federal law in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been observed by the United States since Jan. 20, 1986 and in all 50 states since Jan. 17, 2000.
The day honors Martin Luther King Jr., who once lived and pastored Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, and led the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s and even gave his famous “I have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C.
At the celebration, hundreds gathered in the high school auditorium to hear music performed by the Blue Devils marching band as well as to hear the words of Professor McLain Parker.
Parker, a native of Atmore now a professor for the University of Florida, was on hand to be the keynote speaker for the celebration.
In his speech to the crowd, Parker spoke on how American’s and citizens of Atmore must come together if they want to move forward.
He said that to move forward as a society, people must learn about one another.
As a part of his speech and to see what people know about one another, Parker gave a quiz to the audience asking for them raise their hand once they heard the right answer.
The questions in his speech ranged from the importance of figures in Atmore’s or Poarch’s history to collegiate sports and hip-hop music.
Parker said that the most important thing about moving forward is dealing with change.