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“If we want to celebrate King, let’s listen to his words and the ideals to which he committed his life and for which he lost his life. Let’s open our eyes to his agenda and ask, ‘What would Martin say today?'” Brown said, adding that she thought King would call for an end to the war in Afghanistan and that money used to fight overseas be redistributed to help the poor. Brown chose not to refer to King’s struggle as the Civil Rights Movement, instead referring to it as the “Freedom Movement” and aligning that era of American history with other protest movements, past and present. She talked about the history of slavery in America starting in the 1600s and listed a number of statistics she said show racial disparity in America — for instance, the incarceration rates, prostate cancer rates, infant mortality rates and school dropout rates are all disproportionally higher for black people, she said.

“The question is, ‘Why?’ Is there something wrong with black people? Do we have some kind of criminal gene? Are we lazy, trifling and don’t want to work?” Brown said, facetiously, “Is there something wrong with black people? Because that’s what people want to tell you now, and they forget what Dr, King said.”, Brown, an activist for prisoners, heads a nonprofit in Oakland that’s focused on employing folks who have been incarcerated, She said that private prisons replaced slavery and that some of the same struggles her ancestors faced had remanifested themselves split sole vs full sole ballet shoes today..

Before Brown’s speech, a number of students recited poems, conducted dance routines and quoted some of King’s famous speeches. There were also cash prizes handed out to Pittsburg High students, who recited poems about Civil Rights history, black-on-black crime and referred to high-profile events, like the killing of Eric Garner in New York or the “#blacklivesmatter” protests. The events at Pittsburg were amongseveral throughout Contra Costa County. In El Cerrito, at the Bay Area’s oldest observance of King, dozens of participants young and old walked in a parade through town holding signs and showing their intent on keeping the message and courage of the slain civil rights leader alive.

The power of youth energized the crowd of about 200 in the parade while many others said much work lies ahead, particularly in light of high split sole vs full sole ballet shoes incarceration rates among black men and ongoing protests over police shooting deaths of unarmed black men and women, During the post-parade program at El Cerrito High School, 7-year-old Christian Lee brought the audience of more than 400 to their feet singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” by memory, Madera Elementary School student Caden Cotton-Black spoke at length about how the paths of King and the late poet and author Maya Angelou crossed, and shared the message of turning hate into love and fear into hope..

El Cerrito parade participants gathered behind City Hall on Manila Avenue, walked south on San Pablo Avenue and then up Moeser Lane to the high school for an hourlong program of dance, music and speeches. In the program, “Still I Rose — Hands Up for Justice,” which also honored Angelou, keynote speaker Darrel J. Wesley, a U.S. Navy chaplain, delivered a stirring address, encouraging listeners to keep up the fight for justice and demands that everyone enjoy democracy. Meanwhile, at Antioch High School, a bevy of elected officials and school district leaders turned out to laud King for his values and dedication to the civil rights cause. Calling King a “true American hero,” U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, urged an audience of about 200 people to preserve the civil rights leader’s legacy by holding themselves to the highest possible standards and looking out for the welfare of others.

County Supervisor Mary Piepho emphasized that society hasn’t gone far enough in following King’s example of bridging social divides through peaceful means, noting the ongoing split sole vs full sole ballet shoes racially motivated protests in Oakland that have included vandalizing small businesses and forcing the closure of freeways that commuters rely on to get to work, Following a choir’s a cappella performance of the national anthem and a video clip of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech was keynote speaker and former professional football player Akili Calhoun..

Before the event got underway, Calhoun said he hoped that young people in the audience would place the same value on education that King did. At the outset of his athletic career he did not, Calhoun said, noting that although he received a four-year college degree he was far more focused on football. As a result, he found himself ill-equipped to face life after the NFL, he said. But all that has changed: The 45-year-old Lafayette resident now holds a doctorate in psychology and is returning to college to earn a second while he runs a business helping young men gain the necessary skills to make the transition from high school to higher education.

That’s just a sampling of the numerous youth development and violence prevention programs established in Oakland over the years, split sole vs full sole ballet shoes “Oakland is considered a hub of youth engagement and community organizing,” said Nicole Lee, founding executive director of the Urban Peace Movement and a fourth-generation Oaklander, She calls Oakland the Silicon Valley of social change, “The energy, synergy, exchange of ideas, funding structures; the innovation attracts people,” she said..

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