A celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

 

DOVER –– On the 30th anniversary of the national recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Delaware State University and the Inner City Cultural League, Inc., joined together in the Arts and Humanities theater to celebrate the day.

“We have been preparing young people for incredible lives and incredible opportunities,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, president of DSU. “Today, we celebrate one of the greatest Americans to ever walk this planet, who also attended a historically black college and university. We are proud of that.”

The event honoring Dr. King entitled, “Celebrate the Dream –– A day on, not a day off” began with a string ensemble followed by Sankofa drummers and dancers performing traditional African song and dance.

The performers were all either part of DSU’s Early College High School or the Inner City Cultural League.

For all, their day off school, turned into a day on for reflection of Dr. King. The entire DSU football team was also “on” Monday in the audience to view the performances and speakers.

The list of speakers included dignitaries like Sen. Thomas Carper, Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney and culminated with a presentation by the keynote speaker, the honorable Carla Benson Green, secretary of the Department of Services for Youth, Children and Their Families.

“Our grandparents, our parents stood up; they made their presence known and the fought for the right and freedom that we all enjoy today,” she said.

Sec. Benson Green cautioned African Americans from losing their way as it may wash away all the achievements made before them.

“We no longer look out for each other. We have slowly become a ‘me’ and ‘I’ generation instead of the collective ‘we.’ We no longer work to shared dreams and hopes,” she said.

“We no longer work toward shared opportunity to elevate our fellow man. We have to reconnect with our communities in order to thrive now and generations to come.”

Sec. Benson Green said despite becoming frustrated with work undone and work left to be done, it is most important to come together rather than fight alone.

“Don’t let your heart become hardened and don’t throw your hands up in despair. Don’t let your dreams become deferred,” she said.

Sec. Benson Green then went on to quote Langston Hughes and his famous poem, “Dream Deferred” to encourage the large crowd to follow their dreams and not let dreams turn into nightmares.

“Events like this are important because we can take the time to not only honor Dr. King but to reflect on his dream and redirect that dream into our community,” said Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen.

Sec. Benson Green concluded the program reminding the audience to continue striving for excellence, to continue standing up for what is right and continue making a difference in this life.

“Growing up, we were black and we were proud and we need to be that once again,” she said

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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