Dr. King’s hopes brought to 2009

By Kerry English
February 12, 2009

Kerry English

Barry Scott, creator and voice of “Barry Scott’s Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.” educated students, faculty and families about the dreams and aspirations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at the Mansion on Thursday, Feb. 5.

Scott’s tribute was aimed at educating younger generations about the violence that was in America in the ’60s due to the segregation and inequalities inflicted on African-Americans.

Empowering the young to stand up for what they believe in and voicing their dreams for this country was also preached during Scott’s presentation.

The thunder of Scott’s voice shook the seats of all who were in attendance.

Reenactments of King’s famous speeches were done almost entirely by heart.

Scott was able to take his audience to the defining “I have a dream” moment in American history.

The compelling portrayal of King was enough to make the audience believe they were standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963.

The moral courage African- Americans had to stand up for their rights was examined and issues discussed included segregated buses.

“They said her feet hurt, but her feet didn’t hurt. She just couldn’t take it anymore,” Scott said of iconic civil rights advocate Rosa Parks.

As a young boy growing up during the civil rights movement, Scott was afraid to go to school and recalls telling his own mother he didn’t want to go because “they kill black people.”

His fear and the fear young African-American children felt stemmed from witnessing everyone from law enforcement officials.

Scott challenged the audience in the final portion of his presentation by leaving the stage and standing side by side to listeners asking for them to share their opinions.

Bringing King’s hopes up to 2009, Scott was curious to hear what audience members “think, feel, believe.”

Audience members spoke about Obama and how the recent election of an African-American man to the presidency is a giant step for our country.

Scott is the founder and producing artistic director of the American Negro Playwright Theater at Tennessee State University.

In addition to being a highly-sought-after lecturer, Scott is also an actor and has performed in many civil rights productions with hopes to educate and carry on the dream of King.

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Kerry English

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