McCrorey YMCA’s 26th Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast took on a new face

MLK Breakfast


Fran Farrer
Fran Farrer

CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ball Room was near capacity Monday morning as more than 1,000 YMCA members, family and guests rose early to not only remember the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but to support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Swaying away from the traditional speaker at the podium event, the 2020 MLK Breakfast brought forth the comfortable somewhat fireside atmosphere facilitated by WCCB Charlotte’s Laresa Thompson.

Thompson immediately delved into the close relationship guest speaker, Robert J. Brown shared with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and took him back to the day and hour he first heart of King’s assassination.

Brown said traveling through neighborhood streets where he and his civil rights companion once treaded was one of the longest rides he’d ever taken. Hearing and seeing the clashes rioting and killing all over America was not what Martin would have wanted. “He was for nonviolence,” Brown said. This is the very thing he would have fought against.

It wasn’t long before Thompson asked Brown, “Did you feel like the dream was over?” Brown said Martin personified peace, he talked and prayed about peace. This (the rioting) would be something he would be against.”

Brown continued saying, Martin’s ultimate goal was that everybody would have an equal choice; That this was America and America was supposed to be a place to pursue their dreams.

Thompson said, “You stayed encouraged you witnessed all these things, you helped and continued to strive – how?, she asked.

“I grew up in High Point on dirt streets, my grandmother raised me. At school there were sometimes no books, and those we had were torn and raged. I told my grandmother I didn’t want to go back to school.

“You go back to school every day, you get everything you can and use it. Let the Lord use you and stay in your mind. He’ll take you so far you can’t understand,” she said.

“Crime, racist attacks, and so much it’s in the forefront of your mind, do you think we’re going backwards; Thompson asked Brown.

To which he replied, “God has a way. People don’t understand or realize all power rest with the Good Lord, we must trust Him.

My grandmother used to say, “Bobby” wake up every day and see what you can do to make this a better place to live.

It’s not just about race, women’s rights, LBT, and so many groups. People talk about being divided, people must get connected. “All of us can do something to help our brother whether they are Black, White, Jews, or Gentiles,” Brown added. “I gone across the County and wherever I’ve seen children in need I’ve tried to do something about it.

God will provide.

Brown said, “You can’t take money with you.” “Bobby use what you have for the greater good. Use it to help, if you do that God will take care of you, she said.

Thompson asked, “What were Dr. King’s concerns before he was killed? “He talked about the poor, the poor people’s campaign, he wanted to do something to help others.

Brown continued saying, “We’ve got to keep on blessing others because it’s not all about us.”

She asked about the inspiration for his book, “You Can’t Go Wrong Doing Right.”

“The title came from my grandmother; she told me more times than I can realize; Learn everything you can boy, “You can’t go wrong doing right.’

You don’t fight, you pray for them. Brown said, “I’ve gone Africa, Asia, all over and I’ve delivered millions of schools books. There are so many schools with no books. We have books stored in warehouses when children could be using them to learn. “Teachers would say we have no books sometimes I would even cry, Brown said. He shared that there are more than overseas; Books are in storage in Charlotte, Chicago, South Carolina, and we shred them rather than giving them to children. “Something is wrong with that,” he added.

We need to re-group on our thinking. There’s one equalizer, and that’s death,” Brown said.

We have to work together to make it right, and we must share a call to action:

Call to action: Let’s assess where we are and try to get together; make elected officials more accountable, make sure they are doing what we sent them to do. Just do a little something just do something! Many of our people are doing nothing!

“Death is the great equalizer; That’s what the bible teaches us maybe yall are reading another bible.

Use it for the greater good,” Brown said.