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Nance: Area African-Americans Achieving MLK's Dream

Rev. Earl Nance, Jr., at a rally in September 2003. (KWMU file photo)

By Kevin Lavery, KMWU

St. Louis, MO – As the nation observes what would have been the 75th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one prominent St. Louis minister says his vision is still pertinent today.

The Reverend Earl Nance Jr. met Dr. King when he was nine years old. His father had been a classmate of King's at Morehouse College in Atlanta and an ally in his cause for civil rights. Nance says to achieve racial harmony, the community must listen to all its members.

"Unfortunately for too many people, the image of a black male is one who is always in trouble or is a threat," Nance says. "I admire those who want to build bridges, who meet hate with love and work together because that's the true vision of Dr. King."

Nance says the community has produced a number of successful black leaders, both in public life and in business. He adds just before King's assassination in 1968, King was turning his attention toward economic development. That's something Nance says is happening in St. Louis.

"We're talking about people owning businesses and being entrepreneurs and making investments in their own communities to bring communities back. When you see that, you see Dr. King's vision coming to fruition."

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