WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb Community Gathers to Honor MLK

Jan 20, 2020

Earl Bracey looked out from the podium as he prepared to deliver the keynote speech during Monday's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration in Macomb. He was impressed with the diversity he saw in the crowd that packed Mt. Calvary Church of God in Christ.

“This represented what Macomb, I think, has to offer -- a truer sense of community. Places like Chicago you really don’t have that sense. So I was heavily motivated looking out at all those faces and the diversity of this crowd,” Bracey told TSPR after the speech.

The day’s events began with a brief prayer outside the McDonough County Courthouse. The crowd then braved temperatures well below freezing for the walk to the church several miles away.

The church ceremony included music, prayer, and Bracey’s presentation.

“What am I doing as an individual to recognize and respect other human beings that I encounter along the way?  That’s what Martin would want you to do,” Bracey said during his speech.

“We are celebrating Martin, (so) let’s walk like Martin walked. Let’s live like Martin lived.”

Bracey told TSPR that King ignited a movement that has yet to be completed.

“At the core, what Martin Luther King represented was love. We’ve got to work on that,” Bracey said. He would like to see people spend less time on their smartphones and more time engaging one another face-to-face.