Martin Luther King honored in Cass

Published 5:15 am Thursday, January 22, 2004

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS -- Though the flakes of snow kept some from attending, those at the annual Martin Luther King breakfast Monday morning enjoyed both the hearty eggs, sausage, biscuits and grits and the message.
Elizabeth Pittman, the wife of Rev. Christopher Pittman of People's Protestant Church in Cassopolis challenged the listeners with the theme "Has the Dream Made Us Silent?"
Instead of fulfillment, she listed ways her people have "settled," including: mediocre success, token low level management positions, affordable housing, government programs, no voice in key positions in the community, no administrators in schools, lack of representation on school boards, TV role models -- but no local role models, drug infested neighborhoods, no unity, no bravery, no courage, no backbone, and no commitment.
Discussions followed with Dan Lee and others as to why people choose to take their children out of the Cassopolis system and the problem of retaliation by those students being continually taunted by name calling.
Later a potluck was held and fifth grade students of Felomina Patton read essays on King. Some lesser known facts were revealed such as Martin Luther King was born with the name Michael, like his father. They changed their names to their middle name when the son was six.
About that same age Martin experienced racial prejudice when he was told he could no longer go play at his white friend's house. he also threw himself out of the second story, trying to follow his grandmother in death.
A gospel service was held at United Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Day.