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MLK Breakfast speakers call for renewed activism

Reynolds Douglass Graves | 1/20/2010, 3:49 a.m.

It was then, Pressley said, that she realized that she had already won. “If we don’t do anything else right,” she said she thought to herself. “We’ve already won. For my afro-centric name being displayed on Blue Hill Avenue in prominent way showed the girls that was something positive within themselves.”

At another observance, Gov. Patrick served as the keynote speaker at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury.

Boston public school children showcased their interpretations of what Dr. King’s dream through song, poetry and readings of his works.

Perhaps the most direct representation of King’s efforts — and the civil rights movement — was a group of “freedom marchers” ranging from ages 5 to 12, who marched into the auditorium chanting, “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around! Gonna keep on walking — keep on talking — living in a brand new world,” while holding picket signs displaying phrases that were popular during the movement such as “I am a Man” and “We demand an end to bias now!”

Gov. Patrick was genuinely moved by the presentations. “I am positive that I would not be here today were it not for Martin Luther King, nor would we have an African American president,” Patrick said. “Dr. King showed so many people to look up instead of down ... [and] his message expands both race and time.”