Delaware State University was among the places across the First State remembering the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr at its 34th annual MLK Jr. National Holiday program.
Residents, students and elected officials gathered on Delaware State’s Dover campus to celebrate and commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day ‘on’ rather than a day off.
DSU’s concert choir, Towne Point Elementary school choir, and the Sankofa African Dance company performed before retired Family Court judge William Chapman offered the keynote speech. He focused on Dr. King’s message that America should be true to the values it expresses on paper.
“Dr. King had a life on, not a day on," said Chapman. "And so he said in the Drum Major Instinct, his sermon the Drum Major Instinct, that he wanted to leave behind a committed life and be known for loving and serving humanity not just for one day but for his whole life, and I think that’s part of the challenge that we face.”
Delaware resident Jasmine Buxton says she attended to be with others who believe in Dr. King’s “dream.”
“The things that he talked about, the things he fought for, the things he died for, are still important and still resonate with our communities today and it’s important for us to make sure that we acknowledge who he is and all the great work that he has done,” said Buxton.
Senators Tom Carper (D-Delaware) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware) talked about the importance of education and DSU’s role as an HBCU, while Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware) urged the audience to vote and be counted in the 2020 census, noting black men are one of the most undercounted demographic.
“Do your part. Dr. King did his part, now do your part!” said Blunt Rochester.