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Community praises MLK's legacy
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MLK real people

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In order to truly be united, we need to focus on the things we have in common rather than our differences.
    That was the message from Dr. Denise Weems, speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr. community service in front of a packed Tabernacle Baptist Church.
    Weems said in order for the community to say "united we stand," we need to look at people for who they are and not for who they are not.
    "We're a long way from where we should be," she said. "We should be at a place where we see people in the same way Christ sees us."
    She also told the audience we need to remember where we've been and where we are now if the country is going to make any progress in becoming united.
    "We still seem to be complacent as second-class citizens," she told the predominantly African-American audience.
    She also lamented the loss of a sense of community that she said was present in the past. In today's society, people appear to be content to isolate themselves from their neighbors and not be as involved.
    "The old adage still holds true," she said, "it takes a village to raise a child."
    To fix the problem, Weems said we need to "remember those who are suffering as though you suffering with them."
    Prior to Weems' speech, the Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson challenged the members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to not let King's legacy be reduced to a caricature of only being a dreamer.
    Instead, he reminded the audience of King's statement that "his job was to stir up and disturb the comfortable."
    To do that, Johnson said, the NAACP needs to stop dreaming and to set goals in which the results could be measured.
    One goal Johnson urged the organization to set was to see progress made on the renovation of the Luetta Moore Park, which has fallen into disrepair over the years.
    The park, which is operated by the Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department but is on property owned by the city of Statesboro, serves many on the westside of town.
    Johnson also criticized Georgia Southern for touting their diversity among the student population, but said minority hiring among the faculty "remains flat."
    Pearl Brown, president of the NAACP, said she was pleased with the turnout at the celebration.
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