“This is not a black holiday; it’s a people’s holiday,” said Christy Bradford at a spirited Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration.
On Monday, a standing-room-only crowd poured into the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington to join in the memorial to King’s life and dream and the celebration of the anticipated inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.
Entertainment by the community’s youth gospel choir highlighted the celebratory theme of the day as more then 200 people clapped their hands, raised their voices in song, praise and hope for tomorrow.
Focus on achieving your dream was the theme of the address given by keynote speaker the Rev. Dartanian Sanders of Mt. Olive Methodist Church.
He encouraged the audience to take advantage of every opportunity offered today.
“Why don’t all Americans take advantage of every opportunity they are offered? Because most people do not know about them or understand how to use the opportunities given to them,” Sanders said.
To accomplish goals and dreams, he said the tools and knowledge of yesterday aren’t enough anymore. There are no more excuses, he said. Get rid of the negativity on television by turning it off; read, go to seminars and network with other people that can help you achieve your goals and dreams. Many tools of knowledge are not being realized, such as reading books.
“The best investment you can make is a library card. There’s a saying. If you want to hide something, put it in a book. No one reads, but everything I’ve learned, I learned through books,” Sanders said.
Achieve a high value gap in your work, he continued. The value gap is how a company values your job, Sanders said. If your value gap is low, you’ll be fired if the company needs to make cuts. However, if you have a high value gap, companies will still call you as a consultant after you retire, no matter what the economy is doing.
The importance of setting an example for children is also very important to achieving one’s dreams. “They will do what you do, not what you say; when you achieve more, they will strive to achieve more also,” he said.
Sanders said that King’s dream is not over; it is just beginning to be realized. No one would have dreamed that 40 years after King’s death, there would be an African-American president.
The celebration was the culmination of a weekend of festivities in Covington.
The traditional parade from the Rev. Peter Atkins Park to the Greater Covington Center was held immediately before the celebration in the auditorium.