MLK festivities deliver messages of hope

Shantell McLaggan wins oration, "Here Comes the Sun.
Jan. 22, 2013 @ 12:59 PM

The Martin Luther King Social Action Committee continued their celebration of King Week on Saturday night with its 12th annual oratorical contest.
Shantell McLaggan, a senior at Davidson Early College at DCCC, won the contest with an oration, "Here Comes the Sun." The Rev. Dr. George Jackson, founder and director of the MLK Social Action Committee, was proud of the contestants for being able to capture the essence of the theme, "Clear Skies After Rain."
"The most renowned speech given by Dr. King was the 'I Have a Dream' speech. It talks about overcoming adversity and embracing a promising tomorrow," Jackson said. "All 12 of the contestants were profound in being able to articulate how we as a nation and as people have dealt with adversity, but always overcome it, like coming out of a storm."
Deja Young, a senior at Thomasville High School, finished second with her speech, "I Hope you Dance." Jackson had kind words for the runner-up.
"The young lady who placed second, her oration was was just beautiful," he said. "The theme was so well-interpreted. I was so proud of those who participated."
After the speeches were delivered, Jackson presented the Community Service Awards to Thomasville Parks and Recreation Director Vickie McKiver and Freddie Gaither Jr., whose story of triumph over addiction inspired the audience of approximately 200 in attendance at Rich Fork Baptist Church.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or