BEDFORD — Community members filed into the sanctuary at the Antioch Baptist Church this morning to remember The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work to eradicate poverty.
An estimated 80 people watched Citizen King, a documentary that examines King’s work on the Poor People’s Campaign fighting poverty shortly before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis.
This was the Bedford Hills church’s 25th annual education seminar held in honor of the slain Civil Rights leader.
“What better way is there to commemorate the dream than to commence the dream that Martin Luther King had by learning, dialoging and devising new ways to continue the dream?” asked Sonia David, an 18-year-old Bedford resident and church member.
Shortly after watching the film, the crowd separated into different groups for the day’s seminars.
The church’s program this year was called “One Foot in the Promised Land” — a reference to the speech King made in support of striking sanitation workers the night before he was killed.
In it, King said he had seen “the promised land”
“I may not get here with you, but I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land,” King said.
Kym McNair, chair of the Antioch’s seminar committee, said before the event that the “Promised Land” for her would include the end of poverty as well as equality among the races. She took heart in the fact that Barack Obama this year became the first African-American president in U.S. history.
“It seems like were fighting the Don Quixote, the impossible dream here, but it is not an impossible dream. There are glimmers of hope … When a Barack Obama can be elected, that is a sign that yeah, OK we’re getting there.”