NAACP Salutes Dr. Martin Luther King

The Meridian-Lauderdale County NAACP hosted its annual salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday.

The focus of this year's MLK Day Breakfast in Meridian was youth. The theme was 'The Product of the Dream: The Promise, the Power, the People.'

"This is a character building situation and having the young people involved, then that let's them know who they are and where they come from," said Tabbotha Adams-Jones, chairwoman for the event.

"We're there for the long haul for the young people," said NAACP president, the Rev. John C. Harris. "And I think this is evident by all the involvement of the young people today."

The first breakfast of this kind locally happened 28 years ago. It was held in the home of Mrs. Rhoena Jennings. Only she and two other people were present at that time. Her son says his mother would be proud today.

"I think she'd be very honored with what's going on as far as the participation and the turnout," said Randal Jennings.. "This has grown into an annual Mississippi event that we feel like people need to participate in."

That includes people from all realms, such as Red Cross officials who were on hand sharing tips on fire safety.

"We've been seeing a lot of single family fires in both the city and the county of Lauderdale," said Gordon Stewart. Red Cross representative.

The guest speaker was attorney Kenneth Dustin Markham. As a 2003 Meridian High School graduate, he says reaching out to young people is critical to the future.

"Talk to them," said Markham. "Tell them what Dr. King's dream is, and that the dream in a sense will be deferred. If we're not able to carry it out, then Dr. King's dream falls on them."