Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Binghamton celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Binghamton celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day
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The Binghamton community remembers the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Broome-Tioga NAACP held its annual celebration of the holiday Monday. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us more about the message that organizers are hoping to spread as they honor the civil rights leader.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Photos of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement lined the walls inside Binghamton City Hall Monday. Around the photos, voices sang loudly, feet stomped and messages of equality and justice were proudly spoken. It was all part of the Broome-Tioga NAACP's annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"This day we want to acknowledge because of who Dr. King was and what he stands for and what he represents," said Broome-Tioga NAACP President Edwin Steplight.

The theme of this year's celebration was "Saving Our Children." Organizers say it was chosen because Dr. King wanted a brighter future for all youth and because there's so much that communities need to do to help kids realize their potential.

"There's so much going on in society with our children, not finishing school, some kids are illiterate, some need mentors to help our kids stay out of trouble," said 2nd VP of Broome-Tioga NAACP Patricia McHerrin.

"We need to bring them back and show them there's a better way. They do not have to be caught up in the trap of aimlessness, the trap of spinning, where you are going so fast so fast but not going anywhere," said Keynote Speaker Claudia Clarke.

The celebration held special significance for many people in the audience as the holiday coincides with the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Some says it’s a symbol of how much has changed since Dr. King was alive. Still, many recognize that his work is not done.

"The dream is now a reality we know that, but we still have a way to go to have accomplishments in getting along with each other in America," said Steplight.

That's why they encourage everyone to remember Dr. King and keep his ideals and values alive every day.

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