Battle described three types of dreams — social dreams, professional dreams and personal dreams.
“The definition of a social dream for the purpose of today, is a dream for the improvement and perfection for the person or persons other than yourself,” Battle said. “Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the best examples of an individual who had a social dream. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that all men would be created equal. He didn’t just dream of a better circumstance for himself, but he dreamed that his children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Battle described the professional dream as dreams concerning individual’s career or business.
“Whether your dream is to open your own business, be in the entertainment business, or become a lawyer or doctor, I know that everyone has thought about where they would like to see themselves in their career now and in the future,” Battle said.
Battle said the personal dream is usually a dream about one’s family, social life and individual happiness.
Battle talked about setting goals and achieving those goals through perseverance.
Battle, a 2003 recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, graduated magna cum laude from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., before attaining her law degree from Ohio State University in 2010 and subsequently passed the state Bar Exam. Battle is currently a Legal Fellow with The Ohio State University Medical Center.
“This day is important because we are awarding scholarships to students who are worthy of and in need of assistance to get into colleges,” said Eustis “Matt” Matthews of Shawnee State University. “I’ve always been an advocate of service to a community and helping those who are coming up behind us to move forward and make a contribution to life in general.”
Eugene Collins, a longtime Portsmouth resident, said the day means a lot to him.
“I feel that Martin Luther King is the man that made all of us realize that as an American citizen we are equal,” Collins said. “And that if we strive and have visions, the opportunities are there for us to do whatever we want to do in our life. And the most important thing that he (King) was able to provide for me was encouragement.”
Portsmouth Mayor David Malone played the piano and Elder Ralph Clay of Christ’s Community Church sang several selections, finally leading all those in attendance in “We Shall Overcome,” as they joined hands around the room.
The events continue today with a silent march from the parking lot at Shawnee State University to the memorial service at Beulah Baptist Church. The march steps off at 2:30 p.m.
Genetta Moore, now in her 80s, founded the event 22 years ago. She is the “task master” for the program and talked about the importance of honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“He (King) was a phenomenon,” Moore said. “I was here in the area before and after the Civil Rights Movement. And I am so pleased with some of the things that have been done. But we’ve still got a long ways to go.”
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or email@example.com.