Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality for all, benefitting all, was in full effect last Friday January 17 at the annual Martin Luther King Day Community Breakfast.
Amidst red and black tablecloths, on which red rose centerpieces from Plant Life Farms rested and adorned the Phichol Williams Community Center in Homestead, residents and community leaders from Homestead, Florida City, and beyond -- such as Homestead’s Mayor Steven Losner, Florida City’s Mayor Otis Wallace, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell -- gathered together to
celebrate King’s legacy and the theme of the breakfast: Recapturing The Dream with 2020 Vision.
As King strove to better the future generations of all races, attendees of all cultures enjoyed a free full breakfast courtesy of The Palace Gardens, at one of two breakfast stations bordering the community center’s main hall.
Complete with a custom omelet bar, all present dined on everything from sausage and grits, waffles, bacon, biscuits, pastries, fruit, juice, coffee, and tea.
And just as varied as the selection of breakfast treats available, were the presentations and awards celebrating community and Black excellence.
After an inspired opening prayer by Pastor Kay Dawson, the Homestead Police Honor Guard proudly marched in with flags, and the breakfast’s Master of Ceremonies Kametra Driver lead the National Anthem; all while Life Pointe Church’s Rodney Amadiz accompanied with an amazing saxophone solo.
Colestar Productions then commemorated King’s 1965 march in Selma, across the Edmund Perrus Bridge, as students marched past the community center’s tables along the back wall to the front of the audience, alongside another rousing solo as Common and John Legend’s song “Glory” played with a visual presentation of King’s historic work.
Awards for community organizations and heroes followed, as they were
applauded for their diverse efforts.
The Palace Gardens was honored for their work with assisted living and in the community, as well as their catering of the event.
Community honorees Dibia DREAM were awarded for their non-profit monthly STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Saturdays at the
community center, which engage students in fun, free, and educational
activities to explore these disciplines as a way to inspire social change and enhance life skills.
Keyes Homestead was also presented with an award for their real estate agency’s community work to support victims of natural disasters, such as those affected after Hurricane Irma, and with numerous groups like Kiwanis Club, the Military Affairs Committee, Rotary Club, and many others.
Individual awards were also presented to Miami Dade College’s Homestead Campus President Dr. Jeanne Jacobs, and Homestead’s Police Chief Al Rolle for their leadership and community contributions towards outstanding achievements in education and law: two things Martin Luther King Jr. strove to enhance for all through racial equality.
The breakfast’s keynote speaker, Reverend Robert Brooks, further
explained in cheering church-worthy fashion how to do so through his soaring speech, as only the head of Miami’s Saint Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church could do, commissioning the audience to recapturing the future with clarity in the following ways.
Revelation-Open Your Eyes
“Not every man with dreadlocks is a criminal,” Brooks said, “and not every white man is with the Klu Klux Klan.”
By understanding everything is not always as it seems, we can promote better relations for all, and rise to a better tomorrow without our prejudices.
Reconciliation-We Have To Talk About It
“Dr. King wanted us to understand we are better together than apart,” said Brooks.
As such, discussing our shared pasts Brooks said, will move us all toward a better shared future; but we have to begin to heal together.
Responsibility-Take Responsibility Where You Are
“If you see something, say something,” said Brooks. “We’re only hurting ourselves and our communities when we stay silent.”
By not calling out injustice, or turning a blind eye to it, we are only causing it to flourish, spread, and hurt more and future generations.
And despite the many awards presented, and people recognized for their positive contributions, Brooks said we can all do something to ensure a greater world for all.
“You don’t need a title to take your place; you don’t need a plaque, or to be on stage to do something great, just do what you can wherever you are,” said Brooks.
As we go into 2020, let’s all do what we can to expand upon King’s dream of strengthening our communities through his legacy, our victories, and Reverend Brooks words.
Let’s indeed recapture the dream...