The 11th Annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast was a meeting of kindred spirits. Whether black or white, everyone present voiced their gratitude for Dr. King's work in song, words or by acting in a skit. A group of young people and adults performed a skit about Rosa Park's refusal to sit in the back of the bus in 1955.
Breakfast was served from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. The speeches and performances began at 10:30 a.m. and lasted until noon.
Pastor Donnie Stewart of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church delivered the devotion.
The congregation sang "We Shall Overcome" led by choir director Lisa Bacon.
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg delivered a proclamation honoring the day and welcoming participants.
Mistress of Ceremonies Charlotte Taborn led the congregation in applause for the mayor. She then delivered a reading of Dr. King's speech ending in "Free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
A number of audience members shared their thoughts during the service.
Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Churched sponsored the event.
Shirley Lanton of Harrisburg shared recollections from her childhood. Born in Missouri, her family moved to Illinois when she was five. They often visited relatives in Missouri during the summer months. One day in Missouri she was going down the road to buy eggs from a white neighbor and was headed for the front door of the farmhouse when a cousin stopped her and told her she must go to the back door.
"I have seen a lot of changes in my lifetime," she said.