By Dr. John E. Warren
This Friday will start what will amount to four days of celebrating the Birthday and Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Friday will mark the 29th Annual Jackie Robinson YMCA Breakfast at the Town and Country Hotel. The expected capacity crowd will once again make its annual presentation of the Human Dignity Award to an unsung hero in the community. Saturday will see the Annual Educator’s Breakfast held in honor of Dr. King and among other observances, Sunday will mark the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade on Harbor Drive downtown as well as the Multi Cultural Festival along the MLK Promenade.
Monday, the legal holiday honoring Dr. King will see two breakfasts held in his honor: one will be the All People’s Breakfast and the second, of greater interest to the community is the 19th Annual United African American Ministerial Action Council Breakfast to be held at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation at Market Creek. All these events are important and each played a major role in the fight to have this country recognize the Birthday of Dr. King as a legal holiday. As a matter of fact, he is the only citizen to never have held public office to be so recognized by the United States Congress. The celebrations are important because they remind us of our past struggles while we yet enjoy what some of us call our present achievements. The YMCA Breakfast allows us to cross socio economic barriers and honor the best in all of us while doing so in a spirit of brotherhood; the same could be said for the All People’s Breakfast which has been held separately from the African American Ministerial Breakfast because of doctrinal differences which do not diminish the sincerity and efforts of both groups. The parade remains important because it was one of the first efforts established in the African American community of San Diego to honor Dr. King long before it became politically correct to do so. The holding of the event in downtown San Diego is important because it took years of struggle to move the parade from the community to downtown at a time when holding a parade downtown made it legitimate.
However you choose to remember Dr. King, remember it is not what we do for a “set-aside” day that counts as much as our daily commitments to make the best of his sacrifices for all of us. Let this not only be a time to remember Dr. King, but also a time for planning and making our personal contributions to the struggle he fought and died for. We have not yet arrived.