Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

by Shamira McCray

FLORENCE, S.C. – South Carolina Rep. Carl L. Anderson encouraged people Thursday evening to keep Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy alive. And in order to do that, people must be reminded of the difference King made for all people, he said.

Anderson spoke Thursday at the 21st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Francis Marion University. The celebration was co-sponsored by the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Anderson represents House District 103 in George, Horry and Williamsburg counties.

In his keynote address, Anderson spoke about the current challenges people are being faced with as a result of a “triple revolution taking place in the world today.”

“First, we are challenged to develop a world perspective,” Anderson said. “No individual can live alone. No nation can live alone. And anyone that feels that he can live alone is sleeping through a revolution.”
Anderson said people must learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or “we will all perish together as fools.”

Second, people are challenged to eradicate the last vestige of racial injustice from the nation.

“I must say this evening, that racial injustice is still the black man’s burden and the white man’s shame,” Anderson said. “It is an unhappy truth that racism is a way of life for the vast majority of white Americans, spoken and unspoken, acknowledged and denied.”

He said he can see nothing more urgent than for Americans to work passionately and unrelentingly to get rid of racism.

Poverty was another one of the challenges highlighted by Anderson.

To keep King’s legacy alive, Anderson challenged those who attended Thursday’s ceremony to keep fighting for justice, equal and better pay, health care and safety for all people.

“Black lives matter, but I’m here tonight to tell you that all lives matter,” Anderson said. “And if you believe that all lives matter, be informed of the candidates running (for) political offices. Then what do I do? Then vote.”

Anderson was joined on the program’s lineup by the Young Gifted and Blessed Gospel Choir and other Francis Marion University student performers.

Les Echols, director of community and minority enterprise for the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, gave closing remarks at the celebration.

“We talked about the dream and MLK wanting people to live the dream,” Echols said. “And before I leave here, I’m going to drop off, on behalf of the sponsors and the greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, a check for $1,000 for the Francis Marion University Education Foundation annual fund so that someone else, some lucky men and women, can also be able and privileged to live the dream.”

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