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MLBC holds celebration for the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Wednesday, January 11th, Missourians from all walks of life joined the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) in the Capitol rotunda to celebrate the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The theme of the celebration was “Keeping the Dream”, something many Missouri legislators work tirelessly to do.

Missouri Supreme Court Justice Robin Ransom was the guest speaker at the celebration, but was also honored for her all of her hard work which led her to be the first Black woman to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court.

Former MLBC Chair Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove was also honored, and Treasurer-Designee Vivek Malek was welcomed as the first person of color to serve Missouri in a Statewide office.

“Uplifting Black leaders and Black talent will continue to be a part of the culture in our caucus. This event is just the beginning of an era in the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus that will transcend traditional politics” said the MLBC in a statement after the celebration.

The celebration was filled with many testimonies from public officials like MLBC Chair Marlene Terry, MLBC Treasurer Rep. Mark Sharp, and the first Black state legislator from Boone County, Rep. David Tyson Smith. The testimonies were full of power and inspiration that encouraged others to never forget Dr. King’s dream, and what is achievable when people dare to push their limits.

SaBria Hendricks, the Lincoln University Dance Troupe, and “Rev. William Rainer & Jewell Converted” all put on powerful performances that blessed the audience.

“I think the overall message was that still to this day when we are in these political spaces or even everyday work spaces there are very few people of color. And not to let that be a deterrent. We reflect back on Dr. King’s life and his work and we should all be inspired and encouraged to trail-blaze paths and hold the door for those coming behind us. The work will never be done until there is true equality in this world. Personally I was inspired to run for office when I visited Washington, D.C. for the first time in my life in 2018. Where I saw Dr. King’s memorial and the wall of quotes next to it. And the quote that resonated with me and gave me the courage to eventually run just a year later was:

Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in” said MLBC Treasurer Rep. Mark Sharp.