GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — As millions of Americans gathered together to remember one of the most influential figures in American history, local leaders discussed how far we have come since the days of the civil rights movement.
Congressman David Trone held a roundtable discussion with civil rights legend Willie Pearl Mackey-King and Nahom Tekle of the Brothers Academy. During the conversation, the group discussed their personal experiences combating racial injustice in their lives, the systemic barriers that negatively impact communities of color, and expressed their shared belief that conversations about racial justice are how progress is made.
“Dr. King taught me to be real, make it real,” said Mackey- King. “He said Willie it’s like cancer, you can’t smooth it over and act like it’s not cancer and expect it to heal. It’s going to continue to grow. we have to have conversations, real true honest conversations about who we are, what we do, what we want, where want to go, what we want to do in this life.”
The group believes these having tough conversations is the only way to achieve Dr. King’s dream.
“We can draw a straight line from slavery, to Jim Crow, to mass incarceration. That’s why it’s important that we recognize how far we’ve come in the fight for justice and understand what work we still have to do,” said Congressman Trone. “It was an honor to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy with Mrs. Mackey-King and Mr. Tekle and get their perspective on how the government and our communities can come together to create a more just and equitable society.”