BG urged to live as King’s ‘Beloved City’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor   
Friday, 18 January 2013 18:26
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Keynote speaker Dr. Jack Taylor during the 24th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute at the Wood County Public Library. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Cygnet has a slogan: “Small but proud.”
North Baltimore is “The Love Bug City.”
Countries and corporations all have their catchphrases, retired educator Jack Taylor told those gathered Friday for the annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
What about Bowling Green? he wondered, looking at Mayor Dick Edwards sitting in the front row.
So in honor of the event, Taylor made his suggestion: “All are welcome here.”
The event was held in the atrium of the public library with music provided by The Browns.
Taylor’s talk took as its theme King’s belief in “The Beloved City,” and urged to work toward achieving that Ideal.
“For Dr. King,” he said, “the Beloved Community was not some lofty, utopian goal ... rather the Beloved Community was a realistic achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and method of non-violence.”
For Dr. King, Taylor said, the Beloved Community was one that achieved justice and economic equity. It was rooted in his belief that poverty should be eliminated, and all should have “three meals a day, education and culture for their minds and dignity and equality for their spirits.”
Taylor said he was inspired to reflect on the slogan “all are welcome here” based on a slogan at a local church “Christ welcomes all here.”
He said he knows Christ welcomes all, but how about the congregation. Even now “the most segregated times are Sunday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.”
And growing up black in America he learned to question whether he was part of the “all” in the phrase “with liberty and justice for all” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
“For all too often I knew it didn’t apply to me,” he said.
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An overall view of the 24th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute at the Wood County Public Library.
He learned the rules and dictum of racial separation “to insure my safety if not my survival” and when friends would invite him to go somewhere he wondered if he was indeed welcome there.
“These words led me to wonder whether or not  all God’s children black, Mexican, Arab, gay and lesbian, Muslim, atheist,  the homeless, the poor, the clean and the unclean, and the wretched of the earth are welcomed not only in that church but everywhere in our great city.”
Bowling Green is a city made up of different groups, a diversity that should be celebrated, a diversity that fosters creativity and growth, he said.
“What would our great city look like if one of our priorities would to intently create a Beloved Community characterized by love and justice for all of our citizens, guests, visitors and passers by,” he said
That spirit is evident in those who mow a neighbor’s lawn or shovel a sidewalk without being asked. By those who bring cookies at holidays or stop to chat at the post office.
“A Beloved Community  cares for its residents young and not so young,” Taylor said. “A Beloved Community provides homes for homeless and food for the hungry. We realize we are our brothers’ keepers.”
The annual Drum Major for Peace Award was given to Dr. Jane Rosser who puts that activist spirit to work.
Rosser, the director of Service Learning at Bowling Green State University, said she almost had to skip the event because she was working on final details for Monday’s MLK Jr. Day of Service Challenge.
On that day 500 student volunteers will span across the community to do service projects.
The day is a way to mark King’s legacy and give the projects an added significance. The student volunteers, she said, are taught about his message and goals. The projects are a way, she said, to bring  people from different backgrounds together to achieve a single mission.
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2013 10:04
 

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