Free Mlk Concert Hosted By State Senator Kevin Parker A Huge Success In Brooklyn

Kevin S. Parker

January 23, 2008

Brooklyn, NY – A 101-year-old grandmother was among a diverse group of constituents who read Dr. King’s "I Have A Dream" Speech at a special tribute on Monday that was hosted by State Senator Kevin Parker (D-21). More than two thousand patrons attended the "Shared Dream" concert at Brooklyn College which celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On what would have been his 79th birthday.

The 21st Senate District is a manifestation of Dr. King’s message. It comprises people from varied ethnic and religious backgrounds who are interested in working together for community empowerment. And in a special feature called, "Remembering the Dream, " representatives from these community segments read portions of the "I Have Dream Speech." Rhoda Williams, who will celebrate her 101st birthday next month, read her part of the famous speech in a loud, clear voice. Taking the stage together with prominent New York City lawyer, John Bonia Jr. Esq. the fiery grandmother read: "I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

Others who contributed to this segment included a Nandi Ogunlade, Kenya Jacob, a 9-year-old honor student, Yasmin Sinclair, an interpretive dancer, Michael & Ella Weiss, Imran Nasrullah & Huma Muzaffar and Rev. Dr. Alvan Johnson, Jr.

Senator Parker was impassioned in his speech which focused on the deep faith of Dr. King and the architects of the Civil Rights Movement, "Dr. King lived and moved and acted on the faith that "an oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever," said Senator Parker. "We must hold on to the Dream because we have come this far by faith. We must put our faith into action so that our children may live the yet unrealized portion of the dream. Moreover, we need to revive the moral fervor contained Dr. King’s dream as we march to the "promise land" of justice and equality."

The show was hosted by Jacque Reid, producer of the Tom Joyner morning show and former anchor of the BET Nightly news. It also featured performances by Bev Burton, The Errol Grimes Dance Group and Sesame Flyers International Steel Orchestra.

But the night belonged to the star bill of the show, Tye Tribbett and G.A who brought the house down with their singular style of gospel. The energetic and inspiring Stellar-Award winning artist held court for 45 minutes in a mix of his contemporary music and sermonizing.

The crowd showed favor for the entertaining segment by their eager response.

In this its 4th, year, the show is now among the top three MLK events in the city. All tickets for the event were free and distributed on a first come basis. To reach the office of State Senator Parker call 718-629-6401.