Speakers share hope for the future at MLK luncheon near USF Tampa

01/18/12 Liz McKibbon
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:


Speakers shared their hope for the future of their children at the MLK Heritage Leadership Luncheon Wednesday at a community center near USF Tampa. As part of this week's Black Heritage Festival, about 250 participants came to listen to inspirational speakers.

The crowd was rich in conversation and warm smiles as people waited for talks from community leaders and inspirational speakers. One of them was Dan Gorman, the new executive director for the University Area Community Development Corporation.

”I am so excited to be in this community at a time that I see as a crucial time of change. When I look at the UACDC, I see all that has been accomplished here, and I see all that there is yet to do.”

He remembered the moment he watched Barak Obama win the 2008 presidential election.

”I turned to look at my wife, who was seven months pregnant with our second child, and our first child, fast asleep on the bed between us. And as my focus fell on my eldest son, I wept. I wept, because I realized in that moment what I had not dared to think about before then. My children will never know an America where this is not possible.”

Keynote speaker, Dr. Reverend Floyd Flake is community leader in a town near New York City. He runs a church that has more than 20,000 members. He said he was raised by his father who was only educated to a fifth grade level and was one of 13 children.

”I remember the morning when he got up, called two of our neighbors together, made a decision to put us in a car, and instead of riding the 35 miles past the three white schools, he made a decision that he would go to each of those schools and try to enroll his children. As he went to each school the doors were closed until the people came out, the students came out, everybody came out, calling us names. But it didn’t stop him. He did not have a college degree to know what was best for his family and best for his people.”

The Reverend spoke not only of the past, but hopes for the future, placing education and community involvement at the top of the list. He also revered the teachings of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr and the focus on all people.

”What is Martin Luther Kings life really all about? It was not just about black people. It was about equality for all people.”

Flake received a standing ovation following his speech. The annual Black Heritage Festival continues through February 21st, with events in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

January 20, 2012, 8pm - Fanta-C Offical Album Debut & Back In A Daze - Cuban Club 1229 E. 7th Avenue, Ybor City, Fl 33605

January 21, 2012 - Tears of Laughter Comedy Show - Crabby Q's, 2595 54th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33714

January 21, 2012, 1st show at 3:30pm, 2nd show at 8pm - Saul’s Juke Joint – A Theatrical Musical Show - 2112 N. 15th Street Tampa, FL 33605

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