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Relationships, Prayers and MLK Jr.Breakfast for L.O.C.

One of the things that weighs heavily on progressive manifestations is relationships.   I’ve heard it a thousand times, relationships matter.  Well,  my wife, TampaBay Tammy and I still have well established relationships in our home town of Memphis and in Tampa that allows us to navigate societal bandwidths that enhance our ability to live active lives.  We believe that good relationships are reciprocal and socializing keeps you young.  We have been blessed in these areas of life.  


The 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr Prayer Breakfast, a fundraiser for Lemoyne Owen College (LOC), was scheduled for the MLK Jr. weekend but was postponed due to inclement weather.  The holiday fell on the first snowy day of  the season, thus the MLK breakfast was postponed to Monday, Presidents Day.  However, I was set on attending because my father Ted Johnson had a legacy of actively supporting the breakfast by selling the most tables annually.

   

I am proud to state, building and maintaining relationships has given us a very successful lifestyle.  As a result we were blessed to attend the annual breakfast in Memphis as guest of

Maude Washington, CL Walton and Dr. Davis, Interim Pres. LOC

State Senator Raumesh Akbari, the daughter of Lisa and Hooshang Akbari whom we’ve known for over 40 years.  Raised with Lisa in Bunker Hill, Tammy flew in years ago to assist with her daughter’s very first campaign and her first campaign parade.

  

As I walked into the ballroom the attendant asked, “who’s table are you with?” and I proudly responded, “Senator Akbari.”  I scanned the room and saw some recognizable faces, Judge Damita Dandridge, my childhood friend State Rep G.A. Hardaway and one of the original Party Brothers, State Rep Joe Towns. 


Jean Williamson, Carol Boyd, TampaBay Tammy, Sheila Branch, LeNiece Woods

Seated at Senator Akbari’s table was my Lemoyne Owen College (always sharp) running buddy Michael Williamson and his wife,  LOC graduate Jean; my sister in law retired teacher LeNiece Woods; the boss accountant Sheila Branch; Teacher, Carol Boyd and my wife the well connected Tampa Bay Tammy.

    

Mayor Paul Young, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, was recognized with a commendation.  Although he had to leave early for another commitment, his attendance underscored the strong bond between the city and LeMoyne Owen College.

   

This was the first time I had been to the Prayer Breakfast and was elated to see old friends exchanging warm greetings and shaking hands, embodying a spirit of camaraderie.  The keynote speaker for the breakfast was Dr. Christopher Davis, the Interim President of Lemoyne-Owen College. Dr. Davis, known for his eloquence and deep understanding of civil rights history, delivered a speech weaving together Memphis pride and the legacy of Dr. King 

  

Dr. Davis eloquently traced the history of civil rights struggles, highlighting how Lemoyne-Owen College, an HBCU, has been a beacon of hope and education for the African American community.  Dr. Davis challenged the alumni present to carry forward the torch of leadership needed for continued activism, unity, and love in the face of adversity, urging everyone to contribute to building a more just and equitable Memphis.

 

The Lemoyne-Owen College Alumni Association, Memphis Chapter, has once again succeeded in honoring Dr. King’s legacy and raising funds.  The Prayer Breakfast was not just a commemoration but a clarion call to action to get up and “Walk” (said Dr. Davis) your neighborhoods and to take pride in our community.  For me, the Prayer breakfast experience was a reminder of how the quality of our lives has been sustained through friendships and successful offsprings which has and always will, widen our societal bandwidth.


BY: Daryl L Johnson, ntouch2020@gmail.com

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