On the holiday to celebrate the advancement of civil rights, Maeola Rowles said she wants to see more involvement in the community from those of all races.


On the holiday to celebrate the advancement of civil rights, Maeola Rowles said she wants to see more involvement in the community from those of all races.

Rowles, the president of Concerned Citizens for the Black Community, gathered Monday with other African American people at the St. Matthew A.M.E. Church to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

The service, likely because it started at 1 p.m., did not feature a large audience. Still, with a choir, a piano on one side of the pulpit and a vocalist who played the organ on the other,  spirits were in tune with the importance of the day.

One especially poignant moment occurred during “Glory, Glory” when during a reprieve the musicians dropped out and the chapel was filled only with vocals and clapping.

The four person choir stood, several of them wearing robes, some with fans in their hands belting the traditional selections.

Virgil Owens Jr. delivered the first reading of the service.  His speech centered on the need for progress in the African American community. The words were from Kevin Powell’s “Open Letter to Black America,” an essay published for the 42nd anniversary of the assassination of King in the April edition of Ebony magazine.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: See related content for a link to a video of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.