Reflecting on MLK and Race Relations Today
Michellene Davis, Esq., President of Executive Women of New Jersey & Former Executive VP & Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of RWJBarnabas Health, and Reverend Phillip Gilmore of St. John’s Community Baptist Church on Bergen Street in Newark, reflect on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, and explore race relations and inequality in America today. They discuss how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.
"Welcome folks. I'm Steve Adubato. Normally this is One on One, but in this special case, it's one on two. Introducing two very special guests, Michellene Davis is Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at RWJBarnabas Health, and Reverend Phillip Gilmore, St. John's Community Baptist Church on Bergen Street in Newark. I want to thank both of you for joining us. The 50th anniversary around... when we do this program, it'll be airing after, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King in Memphis, right? It changed the lives of so many people in this country. It changed the world. Dr. King meant so much to so many. What did he mean to you? He meant everything to our lives. He influenced my dad greatly. My dad was a pastor in Newark for 25 years. He was also one of the first African-Americans on the Newark Police Force. Hmm. He joined in 1955. And my father, because of the teachings of Dr. King, instilled in us, really, a love for humanity, and a love for ourselves as African-Americans. Before you read Dr. King's preachings, if you will. Mm hmm. What do they mean to you? Oh my goodness, I know that there's not one accomplishment I've ever been able to do in my life that wouldn't have been possible but for his work, right? The fact that he came before I did... Yeah, you weren't even born? You got it. Helped to pave the way, right? There is nothing that I have that anyone who came before me did not have. I'm not that bright, right? I'm not that brilliant. There were incredibly brilliant black women who blazed trails before me, but the doors were open. And so he opened those doors. Dr. King was 39 years of age, in Memphis, Tennessee, for the sanitation workers... there to support them? Yes. They were getting the shaft. They were getting treated terribly. And they just asked him. You know, a lot of people would ask Dr. King, obviously, to do all kinds of things. He was exhausted, but he went anyway. Read to us. This is a prayer of Dr. King's. I just think that if you're going to really look into the heart of a man, or the soul of a man, that if you have the opportunity to eavesdrop in on his prayers, that it shows you a lot about him. And so this prayer says this. It says, "Our loving Father, from Thy hand have come all..."