School turns out for tribute

At UH’s The Evolution of a dream: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Tuesday, guest speakers and faculty shared thoughts and feelings about King’s legacy to a capacity crowd.

‘This is a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. The holiday was yesterday, and the (presidential) inauguration is today, so we will be celebrating them together since they are so closely tied together,’ said Juanita Jackson, a volunteer for the event. ‘We have many speakers today, and we are hoping for a good turnout because we sent out emails on the list-serve.’

Jackson got what she hoped for as every seat in the Houston room was filled, leaving many who came to pay respect to King and witness the swearing-in ceremony standing in the aisles.

Television broadcasts of the inauguration were projected onto a large screen to an audience that cheered and gave a standing ovation as Barack Obama was sworn in. Organizers said Obama’s unprecedented presidency becoming official one day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day would echo King’s message and give context to the historic event at hand.

In his inaugural address, Obama recognized the magnitude of the moment when he said, ‘a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.’

It has been 46 years since King delivered his ‘I have a Dream’ speech. He was killed in April 1968 while fighting for his cause. The course of events has culminated in Obama taking the oath of office. His speech contained humanitarian tones that resounded King’s desire for equality.

‘To all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.’ Obama said.

The American Revolution began in the last half of the 18th century, but more than 200 years later Americans are still fighting for equality and freedom from social injustice. King helped lead the civil rights movement, and he took steps through non-violent struggles to bring The U.S. to the point of realizing his dream.

UH President and UH Systems Chancellor Renu Khator attended the event and watched the ceremony in a crowd of many ethnic backgrounds that sat like a mosaic on one of the most diverse universities in the nation.

‘What we saw with Martin Luther King was the beginning of a new era as he gave us the tools to form a better future. What is happening now with (Obama) in office is the first dab of paint being applied to the canvas of a beautiful future,’ Khator said.

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