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Oakland Celebrates the Dream of MLK

on January 19, 2009


At Thursday’s opening ceremony for “Oakland Celebrates the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” leaders reached for the wisdom of King to weave together the
tragic and auspicious first month of 2009.

The ceremony was held the afternoon following the second of two citywide protests over the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant III on Jan. 1 at the Fruitvale BART station.

Newspapers led the day’s paper’s with the story that the former BART police officer, Johannes Mehserle, was charged with killing Grant, who, at the time of his killing, had been unarmed and handcuffed. As speakers took the podium in front of Oakland’s City Hall, vandalism, flyers and a decorated memorial in Grant’s name marked
the city’s streets.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, Oakland City Councilwoman Jean Quan and the event’s keynote speaker Angela Glover Blackwell, looked forward to next week. King would find much to celebrate, they reminded their audience: Following King’s 80th birthday this Monday, the inauguration of Barack Obama, the first black president-elect in United
States’ history, is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 20.

For a complete schedule of Martin Luther King, Jr. events throughout Oakland, visit

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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