Prayer breakfast celebrates Dr. King’s legacy

 

DOVER — Remember. Act. Celebrate. Evaluate.

That was the theme throughout the Zeta Rho Lamda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast at the Modern Maturity Center Monday morning.

The four words is an acronym for the word race, said keynote speaker the Rev. Brian L. Nixon, plant manager for INVISTA and Alpha Phi Alpa brother.

It’s the key to reaching the dream that Dr. King envisioned for equality in America, he said.

“Race is a process,” Mr. Nixon said. “We must take time to remember, act, celebrate and evaluate.

“We must remember and never forget that people died and lost their lives for us to have the freedoms that we have today.”

“We must remember and never forget it is our responsibility to remember the past and honor our forefathers,” he said. “We must continue to work toward having a brighter tomorrow filled with unlimited hopes and possibilities.”

The prayer breakfast gives people of all ages the opportunity to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.

The event draws nearly 800 people annually.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., a chartered nonprofit corporation and the first collegiate fraternity for African-American men, was founded Dec. 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The Zeta Rho Lamda Chapter was chartered in Dover in 1956.

The prayer breakfast’s beginnings can be traced to 1979, when the Alpha Phi Alpha General Convention established the Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast, and recommended a recognition breakfast be held by all chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Dr. King was not just honored by words on Monday: Music at the prayer breakfast included selections from the Born Again Jazz Ensemble, the August Worship Band and the Delaware State University choir.

Both Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., attended as well.

“It’s a day as a nation that we celebrate our greatest, religious, political, civic spiritual leader,” Sen. Coons said. “He was someone that held up a mirror to America of its own profound failings.”

Mr. Nixon shared the sentiment.

“On this day we celebrate the life work of a man who died trying to secure us the right to vote,” he said.

“He died trying to make sure that workers, both men and women of all nationalities, receive equality of pay and to make sure that we have appropriate work place, honor, dignity and privileges.”

Sen. Coons said there is a long road still left to go.

“If we work together, listen and respect each other to invest to make things better we can one day become that community of which Dr. King preached, dreamed, hoped and wanted.”

However, Mr. Nixon said if Dr. King was alive today he would be satisfied by the progress that has been made.

“More African-Americans and minorities are now mayors in large cities,” Mr. Nixon said.

“We’re elected representatives at the national and the statewide legislative levels.”

He said now there is more judgment based on the content of one’s character rather than the content of one’s skin.

“We must continue to make strides in our country. We’ve come a long way since the march on Washington, since the Montgomery boycotts and Brown vs. The Board of Education,” he said.

“We’re still riding the road ahead.”

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