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President Obama honors slain civil rights leader

President Obama honors slain civil rights leader

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:02 pm
By: AP

 WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama served plates of steaming hot lunches to the needy Monday, one of several ways the nation’s first black president paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. Obama held a discussion at the White House with black elders and their grandchildren about the push for racial equality that King led until he was assassinated in 1968. In the evening, the president spoke at the Kennedy Center during a musical celebration of King’s legacy, urging the nation to recommit itself to fulfilling King’s dream. “So tonight let us remember the courage of the man who had that dream. Let us remember the perseverance of all those who have worked to fulfill that dream,” Obama said, with his family looking on from the audience. “Let us recommit ourselves to doing our part in our own lives and as a nation to make that dream real in the 21st century.” The free concert featured singer India.Arie along with the Let Freedom Ring Choir, which is made up mostly of Georgetown University students, faculty and staff. Obama’s outings Monday were part of an array of holiday tributes. Worshippers at King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church heard Princeton University scholar Cornel West deliver a passionate keynote address in Atlanta, urging them not to “sanitize” King’s legacy. In Washington, Obama spent the day with King observances. “How are you sir? God bless you,” the president said, greeting one man among the dozens of men and women who filed into the dining room at SOME, or So Others Might Eat. The organization, a short ride from the White House, provides the poor and homeless with food and other services. Obama handed them pre-assembled lunch plates of chicken, potato salad, mixed vegetables and bread. He brought the whole family: first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, mother-in-law Marian Robinson and some aides. Mrs. Obama poured hot coffee while 8-year-old Sasha tagged along and handed out packets of sweetener. Mrs. Robinson walked around serving pastries from a baking sheet. Malia, 11, walked among the rows of diners, chatting with them and shaking hands. One woman asked Mrs. Obama if she had brought the family dog, Bo. She did not. Published in The Messenger 1.19.10

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