Sharpton tells Memphis crowd Dr. King's dream has not been realized - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Sharpton tells Memphis crowd Dr. King's dream has not been realized

The Reverend Al Sharpton brought his fiery speaking style to a service Sunday morning at New Sardis Baptist Church.

Speaking to church-goers, Sharpton said Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's dream has not yet been realized.

"Dr. King's dream was that every black, and every white, and every Latino and Asian would have the same equal protection under the law, and the same opportunity - not just tokens at the top."

Sharpton told the audience that several large gaps must close before people in the United States can realize Dr. King's dream of racial equality.

"There's still a health care gap," he said. "There is still an education gap. There's is still a gap when you go to the bank."

The National Action Network, founded by Sharpton, is holding its annual convention in Memphis in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of King's death.  In addition to workshops and other activities, Sharpton and Dr. King's son Martin Luther King III will lead a march.

"We will lead a march to The Lorraine, where we will, at 6:01, call on the nation to pause and recommit itself at the exact time Dr. King was killed 40 years ago this Friday," Sharpton said.

He took aim at the growing violence in Memphis and other cities.

"We've allowed people to convince us that we no longer should be striving towards excellence, but that we should be some thug and some street guy," Sharpton said. "The killings that happened here in Memphis is a scar to the history of our people, and we need to challenge those negative demonic forces in our community."

The civil rights leader urged a recommitment to the goals and idea of the civil rights movement.

"Blackness has always been about when we had nothing, we found a way to make something out of nothing," he said.

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