Black leaders are choosing to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day in very different ways.
President Barack Obama and his family, minus Sasha, headed to the Browne Education Campus in Washington, D.C.for a day of service. Although he put emphasis on honoring Martin’s legacy of service, he also mentioned the civil rights leaders push for economic equality.
"Whether you’re seven or six or whether you’re 76, then you can find opportunities to make an enormous difference in your community," the president remarked. "And at a time when the country has been going through some difficult economic times, for us to be able to come together as a community, people from all different walks of life, and make sure that we’re giving back, that’s ultimately what makes us the strongest, most extraordinary country on Earth, is because we pull together when times are good, but also when times are hard."
He added, "I’m sure Dr. King, were he here, he’d want to say thank you."
The president also joked that he might not have the best handiwork if left to his own devices. "Hopefully I have some good instructors here so that I don’t mess anything up," he said. "So if you’re putting a paintbrush in my hands, make sure that I’ve got some very clear lines, and I’ll try to stay within them."
Speaking of renovations, President Obama noted that a controversial quote on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, where Dr. King supposedly calls himself a "drum major for justice" is currently being fixed.
Meanwhile, Rev. Al Sharpton was part of a group gathered at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve building in D.C. Pegged as day of action, Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant, Russell Simmons, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Wyclef Jean also rallied for the event, Occupy the Dream.
The dream in question wasn’t racial equality, but again financial equality. It was a big theme for the memorial dedication back in October that has, apparently, been carried over to 2012.
Demonstrations took place outside of all 13 Federal Reserve Banks across the country this morning as well. A list of demands and and calls to address economic inequality were presented during the rallies, which were lead by members of the Black clergy, civil rights leaders and concerned citizens.