King’s ‘dream’ comes to Washington

Published 7:53 am Sunday, February 11, 2007

By Staff
By DAN PARSONS, Staff Writer
In celebration of Black History Month, the Rev. Vernon King, a nephew of the late Martin Luther King Jr., has been invited to be the keynote speaker at Metropolitan AME Zion Church in Washington on Feb. 17.
King, in a telephone interview with the Daily News on Jan. 2, offered a preview of the message he will bring.
King’s appearance was arranged by his friend Mae Rodgers, general manager of WTOW radio station in Washington.
Gladys Johnson, event coordinator, said she was “overwhelmed” when she learned King will be the keynote speaker at the celebration.
The church has been hosting similar events celebrating black history for nearly 15 years, Johnson said. Although it is an honor to have King speak, area youths will be participating in the celebration with Earl Thompson and the Saints of Light and Southern gospel singer Brian Bailey, SAYS WHO?.
The event is “about all people and is not about denomination,” Johnson said. That sentiment was echoed by King, who said he takes elements from his uncle’s famous messages and includes them in his speeches.
Although this is her first time being involved in the celebrating of Black History Month in the area, Rodgers said that she has always wanted to get along with everyone, everywhere and that it is good that different races can gather peacefully.