MLK’s dream ‘successful’Published 3:06pm Thursday, January 21, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
The Rev. John Anderson, the keynote speaker at the Cassopolis Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast Monday, nearly broke down in tears when he recalled the moment.
About one year ago, an event took place that let Anderson and many other African-Americans across the nation know that Dr. King’s words are still making a difference.
“On Jan. 20, 2009 – and I feel like crying right now – I sat and cried tears of joy, as I listened to Barack Hussein Obama take the oath of office for the presidency of the United States,” Anderson said. “The dream is successful.”
Anderson, the pastor of Church of God in Vandalia, spoke in front of a crowd of about 100 people at the United Methodist Church in Cassopolis about the success of “the Dream.”
Anderson pointed to a few of the many influential black leaders to prove his point.
“Studies show in the last 30 years black men and women have had phenomenal growth in the areas of business and leadership roles. There are many black millionaires in Forbes Magazine,” he said. “In 1963, there were very few. The dream is successful.
“As of 2008, there have been seven black coaches in the NFL,” he continued. “In 1963, there were none. The dream is successful. Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods are billionaires. You can count on one hand the number of black millionaires in the 1960s. The dream is successful.”
But Anderson also recognizes there is still a long way to go in completely fulfilling King’s dream.
“But there is still more work to be done,” he said. “There were two black U.S. senators in the 1870s. Since then, there’s only been three more. One in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34 are incarcerated. The number among others is one in 30. We’ve got work to do.”
Anderson closed his speech with recognizing the need for unity among all races.
“If you believe the Bible, and I do, we are all – everyone of us in Cassopolis, Michigan, the United States – we are all direct descendants of Noah and his wife,” he said. “We are all brothers and sisters. There is only one race – the human race.”
In attendance at the breakfast were schoolteachers and elected officials in the community, including State Rep. Matt Lori.
Before Anderson’s address, the Church of Cassopolis children’s choir performed and students from Sam Adams Middle School read essays on famous African-Americans. After the prayer breakfast, a freedom march to the historical courthouse downtown was planned, followed by a potluck and round table discussion on the “success of the dream.”