CBC & WRAL-TV Sponsor Breakfast To Celebrate Dr. King’s Legacy

CBC & WRAL-TV Sponsor Breakfast to Celebrate Dr. King’s Legacy

The 20th Annual Martin Luther King Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast took place at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Research Triangle Park on Monday, January 15, 2001, the day federally recognized to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday. Capitol Broadcasting Company and WRAL-TV have been major sponsors of the event for the past ten years.

CBC Retired Vice President Ben Waters & wife, Martha, represented CBC at the breakfast.

Reverend Carl W. Daniels-Kenney gave the keynote speech.

Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble spoke amidst a distinguished array of program participants at the head table.

The free and open to the public breakfast themed itself with the slogans “From Protest to Production” – “A Paradigm For Progress” – “Let Us Rise Up And Build” – Nehemiah 2:18. The room was filled to beyond capacity, as children and adults alike attend the event.

Attendees enjoyed a buffet breakfast during the event.

Young children were a part of the event to remember Dr. King.

Dr. William Thurston said, “Seek always to help people unlearn racism.”

The program for the breakfast featured spiritual leaders of all faiths who offered prayers, the F.B. Weaver Youth Gospel Choir who offered music, and a slate of political leaders who offered their thoughts on King’s legacy. CBC Vice President of Community Affairs Paul Pope represented CBC at the head table and introduced the keynote speaker. WRAL-TV Medical Reporter Dr. Allen Mask served on the 2001 Committee Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Inc.

Guest Speaker Reverend Carl W. Daniels-Kenney, Pastor of Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, gave an emotional and energetic speech that electrified the crowd. After reading Langston Hughes’ poem “What Happens To A Dream Deferred?”, Kenney said, “Martin Luther King left us with a dream. What has happened to that dream? It’s time for us to expand that dream.” Kenney said that only observing the holiday exalts King rather than his ideas, that “it’s easier to follow a dead hero than a living prophet.” He concluded by challenging the crowd to uphold and expand King’s dream, not just mourn his passing: “Overcoming is not a state of mind but a way of being.”

NC Governor Mike Easley celebrated the legacy of Dr. King.

The F.B. Weaver Youth Gospel Choir sang as special entertainment during the breakfast.

U.S. Senator John Edwards participated in the event for the 2nd year in a row.

NC Governor Mike Easley said a few words at the event: “We ask, ‘Has society made progress over the last 40 years, and as much as we need?’ We ask, ‘Has government made progress over the last 40 years, and as much as we need?’ We need to ask, ‘Have I made progress over the last 40 years, and as much as we need?’…This is a day for self-examination…We have a duty to stand up for each other.” United States Senator John Edwards spoke at the event as well, saying, “We have made progress [but there is] so much work to be done.”

CBC’s Ben Waters received special recognition from Bruce Lightner for his longtime support of the event.

CBC VP of Community Affairs Paul Pope introduced the keynote speaker.

Community spiritual leaders of all faiths participated in the program, giving prayers for the less fortunate, equality & reconciliation, and effective leadership.

In addition to Easley and Edwards, a host of federal, state, and local officials attended the event including State Auditor Ralph Campbell, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Congressmen David Price and Bob Etheridge, NC General Assembly Representative Dan Blue and Senator Brad Miller, Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble, and Durham Mayor Nick Tennyson, among many others.

Retired CBC Vice President Ben Waters received special surprise recognition. Bruce Lightner, Co-Chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2001 Committee, presented him with a plaque “for many years of support and encouragement for the Annual MLK Breakfast.” Lightner said, “This is a token of appreciation to Ben Waters, who has worked so hard with us to make this happen.”

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