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Hundreds attend MLK breakfast

This year it was fitting the celebration of a Georgia preacher’s dream came on the evening of a Presidential inauguration.

An annual celebration since 1991, the Butler County Civic League’s Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast drew hundreds to Dunbar Recreation Center on Monday. Not only to honor the past, but also to recognize the embodiment of Dr. King’s dream with what happened the day after.

On Tuesday Barack Obama became the first African-American to be sworn in as President of the United States.

Guest speaker Minister Anita McCreary told participants how Obama’s ascendancy to the nation’s highest office truly echoed Dr. King’s predictions.

“Dr. King said ‘I may not get to the promised land with you, but we, as a people, will one day get to the promised land,” said McCreary.

Attendees enjoyed a traditional southern breakfast of eggs, grits, bacon and biscuits, served – as they do each year – by Greenville High School’s ROTC cadets.

Music was provided by the Long Creek Baptist Church mass choir.

Elected officials praised both the newly elected President and Dr. King.

“Martin Luther King Jr. paved the way for what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said Sen. Wendell Mitchell (D – Luverne). “That road was paved in the spirits of justice, equality, love and fairness. Alabama is known for a lot of things, including being the birthplace of the Civil War. But we’re also the birthplace of Civil Rights.”

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon thanked those attending for helping re-elect him to a third term in August 2009.

“I believe because of President Obama we’re going to have opportunities to work together,” he said.

Young Monica Mixon brought the crowd twice to its feet with a special reading dedicated to President Obama. She set the stage as Inauguration Day 2009, a day that featured not only President Obama and his family, but also all African-Americans who had helped break down the barriers of racism and social injustice. It was a role call of black celebrities, activists and war heroes. Names like Jackie Robinson, Walter Payton, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver and Crispus Attucks, populated Mixon’s speech.

George Cook, President of the Butler County Civic League, said the future represented one of hope for the United States. He also marveled at how far African-Americans had come since the fight for Civil Rights in the 1960s.

“These hands that use to pick cotton can now elect a President,” he said.