50 years later, the dream continues
WHITPAIN » On April 4th, 1968, the world said farewell to one of the most outspoken and courageous civil rights leaders of the 20th century, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s legacy of standing up for justice and equality still stands to inspire the generations who have followed his example. This could be no more evident than in the 50th anniversary commemoration event sponsored by the African American Student League at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) on April 4th.
The commemoration featured presentations of speeches, poetry and songs from young students from schools in the county.
Elizabeth Smith, a sixth grader from Reiffton Middle School (Ex-
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she felt a duty to answer Cosby’s inquiries since he was a powerful alumnus and trustee.
Picking up where he left off Friday, Mesereau questioned Constand about inconsistencies in her police statements and prior testimony.
Mesereau said Constand told police in 2005 that she called Cosby from her university-issued cellphone just before she arrived at his house on the night of the alleged assault to ensure the gate would be open. But Constand’s phone records show she did not make any calls to Cosby’s mansion that month.
Constand explained that she may have been mistaken, that there were times Cosby told her in advance that the gate would be open and that she often reached him at another number.
Mesereau opened the retrial last week with a blistering attack on Constand, telling jurors that she is a “con artist” who framed the comedian and cashed in with a $3.4 million settlement.
On Monday, the defense lawyer suggested Constand broke her 2006 confidential settlement agreement with Cosby by agreeing to cooperate with law enforcement in the reopened criminal case.
“Didn’t you think when Mr. Cosby paid you this large sum of money he was hoping it was all go away?” Mesereau asked, wondering in front of jurors if she’d ever offered to give back the money.
Prosecutors have called five other women to the stand who said Cosby drugged and assaulted them too. The defense has eter Township School District), expressed Dr. King’s decision to speak his mind by saying, “He chose not to listen to the people who stood in his way and told him what he could and couldn’t do. That was his choice… If he hadn’t chosen to do all of the wonderful things that he had done, we wouldn’t be standing here right here, right now today. He was known for his decisions that made such an impact on our civilization.”
Following Smith’s speech, Abigail Brand, a home schooled seventh grader, spoke about how Dr. King’s actions impacted future leaders. “He didn’t sit back and say ‘Change happens. Someday people will be equal.’ Instead, he forced movement toward equality. It’s because of people like him [Dr. King] that change happens. Barack Obama didn’t just become president, many, many people, called the other accusers irrelevant to the case.
If convicted, he could get up to 10 years in prison on each of three charges of aggravated indecent assault.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.
Follow Mike Sisak at www.twitter.com/mikesisak.
For more coverage visit www.apnews.com/tag/CosbyonTrial. including Dr. King himself, helped him get there.”
The student speeches were not just the main highlight of the commemoration. Toward the end of the commemoration, an open mic forum was available for audience members to express their thoughts on the impact and legacy of Dr. King.
Evelyn Warner, 93 years old and a MCCC Class of 2002 graduate, said that Dr. King understood that racism doesn’t define human beings, rather that everyone is equal, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
When asked of her opinion about what her favorite moments were during the commemoration, Brigette Barrow, President of the MCCC African American Student League, said that the open mic was among her favorite moments since she, “loved hearing the wisdom that everyone offered.”
Ezinne Ottih, the incoming MCCC Student Government Association President next fall, reflected on the event by stating, “I loved how they [the African American Student League] started testimonials off first with the youngest children because it made me realize that MLK and his message is still trickling down to the younger generations that he never got to meet, which makes me really happy.”
The legacy and impact Dr. King left on society is still felt even today. Elizabeth Smith said it best at the end of her speech by saying, “People who were alive during his time remember him now. Future generations will learn about him too. And even kids who are growing up now 50 years after he died, will learn about him.” Sara Wilkerson is a student and honors scholar at Montgomery County Community College. She’s co-editor of “The Montgazette,” Writer’s Club President, PTK Public Relations Officer, Literature Editor on the college’s Art and Literature Magazine.
Abigail Brand, a 7th grade home schooled student, spoke about how Dr. King’s actions impacted future leaders.
Elizabeth Smith, a 6th grader from Reiffton Middle School, shares her thoughts on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Bill Cosby, right, arrives for his sexual assault trial, Monday at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.
Andrea Constand, center, chief accuser in the Bill Cosby trial, returns from lunch during the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Friday in Norristown, Pa.