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WVU gets call to action at annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast

By Esteban Fernandez, Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — There is no legacy romanticized more than that of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, which is why the key theme that emerged out of Monday’s Unity Breakfast honoring the civil rights leader was action over platitudes.

“It’s a disservice to his legacy to bring up the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech but not, ‘A Letter From A Birmingham Jail,’ which is when he was arrested for protesting for a cause,” activist and keynote speaker Jeneisha Harris said at WVU’s MLK Day Breakfast Monday. “So, oftentimes we romanticize people and messages to avoid doing the work.

“My challenge for people today is dreaming beyond the dream. Taking action. What do you do when you wake up from that dream? How do you get involved? How do you continue the legacy?”

Harris is a Memphis, Tennessee native, who was banned from the Tennessee State Capitol due to her protest demanding the removal of a bust of Confederate General and first KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol in 2019.

In 2020, Metro Nashville Police issued warrants for Harris’ arrest along with her colleague, Justin Jones, due to what police initially said was photographic and video evidence of the pair standing on top of a police car during one of the protests in the George Floyd period. However, three hours later the warrants were recalled after Davidson District Attorney Glenn Funk reviewed the MNPD’s claims and found that Harris and Jones had not committed any infractions.

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