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Officials, residents gather in Chesapeake Beach for annual MLK breakfast

Senators, congressmen, county commissioners and other elected officials gathered with constituents at the Rod ‘N’ Reel Restaurant on Monday for Calvert County’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.

The breakfast was sponsored by the Calvert County Chapters of the National Congress of Black Women and the NAACP as well as the College of Southern Maryland.

“Not only is this the day the Lord has made,” Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) said at the breakfast. “It is the day Martin Luther King Jr. sanctified America in so many ways.”

Hoyer discussed the work that still needs to be done in America to increase access to a quality education, improve communities’ relationship with law enforcement and combat poverty. He said he will continue to represent the people and continue to fight for what Marylanders deserve.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) seconded Hoyer’s sentiments, stating that racism is still very much alive in America. He outlined the work that needs to be done in America to better race relations.

“Dr. King’s message of love, tolerance and opportunity is more relevant today than ever,” Cardin said. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We still got a lot of work to do. When we see law enforcement target people solely because the color of their skin, we’re not done yet. We’ve got to end in America, once and for all, racial profiling.”

The main speaker of the morning was the Rev. Angelo Chatmon of Pilgrim Journey Baptist Church in Virginia. Chatmon spoke about the decline of the American dream and its relevance to race.

“Dreams were the subconscious territory unshackled by any parameters of human annotation,” Chatmon said. “Dreams could not be kept out of restaurants, or confined to specifically marked water fountains or placed on the back of buses. We have to restore dreaming in our kids.”

The Rev. Marvin Wamble of Eastern and St. John United Methodist churches responded to Chatmon’s speech, saying the problem is not that people aren’t dreaming, but rather, they aren’t acting on those dreams.

Wamble, along with the Rev. Eloise Newman of Wards Memorial Methodist Church and the Rev. Glenn Swanson of Bayside Baptist Church, were honored at the breakfast for their continual work at their churches and in the community.

“This was a great program,” Michelle Glasgow, a Dunkirk resident in attendance, said after the breakfast. “I still remember the [1963] March on Washington. We can’t let Dr. King’s messages die. That’s why events like this are so important.”