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Celebration of Pride and Hope

By Brad Duncan


(click photo to enlarge)
Thousands participated in the annual Freedom March through downtown Lexington.

Following the breakfast, thousands participated in the annual Freedom March through downtown Lexington, singing spirituals, chanting for unity, and bringing a message of togetherness and peace. Led by Nietzel, Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac and UK Board of Trustees Chair Steven Reed – the first African American to chair UK’s ruling body – the parade wound its way back to Heritage Hall for the grand finale.

 

Jan. 21, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- With cooperative but cool weather along with warm hearts, thousands gathered in downtown Lexington on Monday, Jan. 20, to celebrate the life of one of the most revered civil rights leaders in history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The day began with the Unity Breakfast where many local leaders addressed various areas of the community in terms of King’s legacy. A sold-out crowd of nearly 700 packed the Patterson Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency to hear remarks from Fayette District Court Judge Pamela Goodwine, UK men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith, Eastern Kentucky University President Joanne Glasser and University of Kentucky Provost Michael Nietzel.

Following the breakfast, thousands participated in the annual Freedom March through downtown Lexington, singing spirituals, chanting for unity, and bringing a message of togetherness and peace. Led by Nietzel, Lexington Mayor Teresa Isaac and UK Board of Trustees Chair Steven Reed – the first African American to chair UK’s ruling body – the parade wound its way back to Heritage Hall for the grand finale.

The annual program featured two mesmerizing individuals. The crowd was first introduced to vocalist Angela Brown, an artist who has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera and the Kennedy Center. Following Brown was an inspirational message from Susan L. Taylor, editorial director of Essense magazine.

In her 30-minute message, titled “In the Spirit,” Taylor discussed how people today can live according to the tenets preached by King. In the end, her directive focused on the one thing people should remember, “No one can love you as much as you can,” Taylor said.


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