COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Some in Columbus say they spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday fulfilling the late civil rights leader’s dream.
Thousands attended what’s billed the country’s largest MLK Day breakfast Monday. An entire hall at the Greater Columbus Convention Center was filled with tables for guests and community leaders.
The event started in 1986, several years after President Ronald Reagan officially designated the third Monday in January as MLK Day. A group of women from Shiloh Baptist Church proposed creating a city-sponsored celebration, in lieu of a small church meal.
Over the years, it’s grown exponentially and has included friends of the late reverend, ministers, educators and civil rights leaders. This year, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty delivered the keynote address.
The crowd also listened to speeches from elected officials and activists, as well as spoken word and musical performances. Some guests said simply eating breakfast with other community members was reminiscent of Dr. King’s vision for the future.
“There’s so much power in enjoying a meal together. No matter what race you are, you’re sitting together hand and hand having casual conversation. That’s what Martin Luther King wanted. That’s what his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech was all about. Now we’re getting to live that dream,” said Cedric Granger.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Committee charity organization uses money raised beyond the breakfast expenses to fund maintenance at the King Arts Complex and scholarships to Dr. King’s alma mater Morehouse College.