Hundreds Celebrate Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Hundreds Celebrate Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted: Updated: 1/19/2014 9:48:54 PM
Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) - More than 400 people packed the sanctuary at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church Sunday evening to remember the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There was elation, there was joy, there was reminiscing,” said Lee Christian from Charlottesville. “Then there is hope; hope for a better future not only where we are from, but where we are going.”

The 29th annual community celebration welcomed John Casteen as the keynote speaker and honored him with the Community Award as a surprise.

The former University of Virginia president spoke of King's legacy.

“It seems to me that significant parts of Dr. King’s dream can be described as ‘In process,’ but there is a tremendous amount of unfinished business,” Casteen said.

He told the crowd he is concerned about education leaving African-American children behind and the rate of incarceration of African-American men.

“We have this steep spike in the number of young males in prison for long terms,” Casteen said.

The service harkened back to Dr. King's famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

"He warned in other places of chaos and forces for community,” Casteen said. “The image of children hand in hand is the image of the community.”

The celebration ended with everyone joining hands in prayer.

“I think the audience, the congregation, was touched and we definitely leave on a note of remembering the dream that Dr. King had,” Christian said.

A week's worth of events in Charlottesville will honor the life of Dr. King. Click here for a list of events.

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