'Bringing the dream forward': NAACP breakfast honors Martin Luther King Jr.
FREMONT - The Fremont NAACP hosted a free breakfast in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday. The celebration bought a diverse community of people together to honor the legendary civil rights leader.
Breakfast events included the Girl Scout Color Guard Troop led by Brenda Widma, which presented the flag, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and then "Negro National Anthem".
Before breakfast at Grace Lutheran Church, a blessing was given by Father Matt Wahlgren. The meal included eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits and gravy, with orange juice, coffee, or water.
Cassandrea Tucker, president of the NAACP, organized the morning events. This was the first breakfast since COVID- 19, with the event held online until this year's celebration.
“I wanted to continue the dream and move forward and go beyond the dream by bringing the community together,” Tucker said. “To show how our inconclusiveness and our diversity, we are bringing the dream forward.”
The breakfast featured an MLK Jr. contest, which was a speech or essay that centered around what they think of racism or how they experienced it. These schools were Otis Elementary, Fremont Middle School, and Ross High School which participated.
Jeriah Martin, one of the winners, said in his speech, “The difference between you and me is only on the outside, we all have the same features inside — brains, hearts, and bones. I can’t control the color of my skin no more than you can, we were born that way.”
The Ross High school winner, Arrayah Witmer, gave her perspective on how life is when you are of a mixed race and how she has struggled to fit in.
“Racist is when they whisper the word when you walk by,” Witmer said. “In elementary you were a white girl with black hair. You straighten your hair to match theirs, but they curled theirs, and you tried to be part of their group, and you were left out and didn’t fit in, you were too whitewashed.”
In all, eight students presented their speeches — each one was as passionate as the other. They all received an award and a gift certificate for their achievements.
Speaker Rev. Ernest J. Jackson, pastor of First Baptist Church, was introduced. He shared details of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jackson said, “This invitation was equal to me as a child seeing the Jackson Five on the Jet Magazine for the first time.”
As Jackson walked up to the podium, the room became silent. He found it hard to control his emotions following the passion that students before him presented in the speeches.
“Dr. King’s speeches gave sight to the blind, it gave intelligence to the ignorant....," he said. "Finally, all his speeches gave glory to God. It shined the light on this world. Let this light be in you; let it be real.”
Tables were set up and featured the People for Peace and Justice Sandusky County, Peace and Planet News, and a table to sign up to be a member of the NAACP.
Members of the Fremont Police Department, Ohio Highway Patrol, and the Fremont School Resource Officer attended along with State Rep. Gary Click and others.
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