“The real question of the day is what do you say, what are you doing?” – Reverend Mark-Anthony Middleton, Pastor of Abundant Hope Christian Church, Durham
On Monday, January 18, 2016, Capitol Broadcasting Company proudly served as the presenting sponsor for the 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.
The 2016 theme “The Fierce Urgency of Now” ruled the day as presenters spoke about the importance of acting and talking, rather than simply sitting back and listening to words.
“It’s not just about what Dr. King might say if he were here today, but about what we do,” said WRAL-TV Anchor David Crabtree as he opened the televised portion of the program.
“I mean after all, isn’t to be silent to give consent?” said Dache’ Chanell Hardison, a senior at Franklin Academy High School in Raleigh. “In the words of Dr. King, it would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This is a defining moment and we have the power to determine the outcome, to protect our generation from injustice.”
The youth who won the annual MLK essay contest impressed the crowd with her words near the beginning of the program.
“Where would we be if Dr. King only protested and helped form rallies after he saw a trending hashtag?” said Hardison. “It is extremely crucial that we stand up before it is too late and acknowledge the fierce urgency of now. Don’t let someone you love become the next trending topic.”
Over 2,000 people filled the Sheraton Imperial Hotel ballroom and overflow seating in RTP for the event. After a warm breakfast, attendees heard prayers offered by a variety of local clergy, welcome messages from area political leaders and a keynote address from Reverend Mark-Anthony Middleton of Durham. Middleton serves as the pastor of Abundant Hope Christian Church in Durham.
Rev. Mark-Anthony Middleton took the podium for the keynote in the second half of the live broadcast.
“We are enamored by the ‘I Have a Dream’ part of the speech, but before that he had an ought with America,” said Middleton of Dr. King. “Oftentimes I fear that we have removed the fight from because we have distilled him…and sequestered him to the top of a mountain. We have taken the fight out of Dr. King.”
Middleton went on to say, “Dr. King practiced a transformative type of patriotism. Dr. King practiced a transformative type of patriotism and I’m very suspicious of a patriotism that does not allow questions.”
He challenged to crowd to look beyond the dream and works to action.
“There are still battles to be fought in our revolution…The real question of the day is what do you say, what are you doing?” said Middleton.
CBC has served as presenting sponsor of the Triangle MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast for the past 28 years. Corp & WRAL-TV Community Relations Director Loretta Harper-Arnold currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee.
The entire event was live-streamed on WRAL.com and the 8am hour of the program live broadcast on WRAL-TV.