Annual Duquesne program keeps King's message alive
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, 4:51 a.m.
An air of unity filled Macedonia Baptist Church in Duquesne for Phyllis Wheatley Literary Society's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Saturday.
Church leaders fromDuquesne and neighboring communities talked about what King meant to them, and the impact he had on society.
King was a baptist minister and civil rights leader whose actions and message shook the American consciousness in the 1950s.
“It shook the minds of the people about problems of racial inequality, justice and freedom,” the Rev. Timothy Caldwell, president of Miracle Temple Evangelistic Ministries, said.
In his keynote speech, Caldwell talked about the relationship between whites and blacks from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries, and about violence and uprisings between the two races and within the African-American community.
Caldwell noted King's emphasis on social change and the church's role in making change happen.
Among King's many honors was the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, He played a key role in ending the legal segregation of African-Americans in the south and other parts of the nation.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tenn., where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers.
The Rev. Edward Robinson of Macedonia Baptist Church told how he was discriminated against in the 1950s when he returned to the United States after the Korean War.
Robinson said he was on a bus headed south from Seattle, Wash., when the incident occurred. He said he could not believe it happened while he was wearing his uniform.
He said King fought to make sure those types of situations don't happen.
“We have to realize that he did it because of God, that we might be able to come together,” Robinson said. “Come together, not divide, to be as one. That's what Dr. King wants us to do. That's what God wants us to do.”
Society president Marlene Wallington said Saturday marked the fifth year for the celebration at the church at 17 Chochran St. Monday is Martin Luther King Day.
“We've gotten more and more people on the programs, and they're from everywhere,” Wallington said. “This year we have all males on the program, young and old. We wanted to celebrate the holiday, and this is what we usually do to try to do our part. So many people come.”
“We've been doing this for several years now,” event co-chair Ernestine Broadwater said. “We ask our members and ask people in different churches in the community for their input concerning Dr. King, and something encouraging to the young people about their lives.”
Calvina Harris served as Broadwater's co-chair.
Speeches and prayers from were accented by electric performances by the Payne Chapen AME mimes, 19-year-old Macedonia Baptist Church mime Hasaan Allen of McKeesport, the Macedonia Youth Chorus, Boys & Girls Club of Duquesne, and Sir Zyon Edwards Cox, who played drums with keyboard accompaniment by Angela Perrin.
Bryant Knight sung an a cappella version of “He Looked Beyond My Faults.”
Duquesne Elementary fourth-grader Quinton Moon delivered a speech about how President Barack Obama gave him hope of success in life.
“Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could run,” Quinton said.
Broadwater took notice of the many teens and young people who participated and attended the program.
“We have to teach (about King) at home and we do that here so that they can remember and know where they came from, and how great we was to get us this far,” Broadwater said. “We've been through so many trials and tribulations they don't know about. They think everything's nice and easy. We want them to see that and to appreciate what's going on.”
Larry Hanson provided a black history presentation based on the book “Black Chronicle.”
The Rev. George Williams of First Baptist Church in West Mifflin was master of ceremonies.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- British native marks 103rd birthday in Elizabeth Township
- Strip club to open in McKeesport amid controversy
- New McKeesport committee to focus on community issues
- License transfer paves way for new restaurant in McKeesport