MLK associate, activist talks about today's economy
January 18, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - A former personal representative to Martin Luther King Jr. visited APG for the installation's annual MLK Day celebration Jan. 5 at the APG North (Aberdeen)
Walter Fauntroy, a minister and community activist who coordinated several marches during the Civil Rights Movement, called MLK Day a time to remember, celebrate and act.
Fauntroy, who during his tenure as the president of the National Black Leadership Roundtable campaigned to make MLK Day a national holiday, said the day is now celebrated by billions of people in 108 countries. He added that the holiday should be used to serve others and reflect on King's message of equality.
"Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important man, with the most important message in the most violent century known to mankind," Fauntroy said. "This year (in Washington, D.C.) his image was erected between Thomas Jefferson, who gave us the dream, and Abraham Lincoln
who sought to preserve the dream. Martin Luther King Jr. is in the middle because of his magnificent role in redeeming the soul of America, redeeming the dream."
Fauntroy, who heads a U.S. based private sector effort to cure extreme poverty in Africa, said that if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today he would be talking about the biggest problem facing the world today- the economy and taking care of the less fortunate.
"Having adequate income, education, health care, housing and justice are the keys to having an abundant life," he said. "Martin Luther King Jr., being a spiritually mature leader, knew that the
most important actions we could do was to take care of the poor, the sick, the old and the young - the least of these."
He said King believed that people should "walk the talk" and serve their fellow man, and he believed in making changes not through violence, but through love. Fauntroy also pointed out
that despite King's perseverance and unwavering hope, many people during the civil rights movement actually believed that King's dream of African Americans gaining equal rights was
"He knew that he must act to make the American dream a reality," he said. "We must pull together a coalition of conscious people of every race and creed and color to end the violence of
war, the decadence of racism and the surge of poverty. We must do that by sharing income, education, health care, housing and justice to people around the world."
This year's MLK celebration, hosted by Team APG, was a standing-room only event attended by 400 community members.