It takes one voice to stand up and make a difference. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was that voice for Americans seeking equality and freedom in the 20th century.
â€œDr. King replaced violence with love, and blood with prayer in the purpose of unity,â€ Mayor Del Jurney said at Blackdom Memorial Inc.â€™s 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Breakfast, Saturday.
Hundreds packed out the Roswell Civic Center for the breakfast, headlined by keynote speaker Jurney, who fought back tears, during his moving narrative on the man who led the civil rights movement.
Jurney opened with the story of his uncle, a Methodist minister, who marched on Selma with Dr. King. Throughout his presentation, he outlined the philosophy of Dr. King, while reciting various speeches like Kingâ€™s â€œIâ€™ve Been to the Mountaintopâ€ and â€œI Have a Dream.â€ Jurney also added his own original anecdotes.
â€œKing walked the walk … a concept we try to do here in Roswell â€” 2011,â€ he said.
The breakfast was sponsored by Roswell Parks and Recreation and many others. Mike Francisâ€™ Spice of Life band provided the music for the occasion. Abdullah Abukusumo emceed the event, which also featured a special presentation to former Chaves County Detention Center administrator Alfonso Solis, who accepted the eventâ€™s 2010 Humanitarian Award, presented by Landjur Abukusumo, Blackdom Memorial Inc. president. Solis offered words during the award presentation.
â€œThe United States Marshall service was at the forefront of the desegregation of the South,â€ he said. â€œSome of my fellow deputy U.S. marshalls shed their blood … in the efforts of Dr. King, so that is why this means a lot to me personally … to be honored.â€
Several contributions to the ceremony included: selections by the Tom Blake Trio and Janet Allen, accompanied by Astuti Abukusumo; a city proclamation, read by councilwoman Judy Stubbs and a presentation by L ynn Ditto, on behalf of U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman. The invocation and benediction was given by Dr. Richard Gorham, of Ware Tabernacle Baptist Church.
State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, state Sen. Tim Jennings and Michael A. Trujillo were also in attendance, in addition to several prominent members of New Mexicoâ€™s African- American community. Golden Corral of Roswell catered the breakfast.
For more information about Blackdom Memorial, Inc. call 317-0582.