Mon., January 18, 2010 7:45am (EST)

GA Celebrates MLK Day
By Emily Green
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Cornell West speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church on MLK Jr. Day (Photo by John Sepulvado).
Cornell West speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church on MLK Jr. Day (Photo by John Sepulvado).
Poverty was a topic today at Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, where hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King.

King was born 81 years ago, and Monday's event featured singing, prayer and speeches in his honor.

King's older sister, Christine, who is in her eighties, presided over the packed church. Some of the biggest applause came for Princeton University Professor Cornell West, who said Obama's needs to do more about poverty.

"[Martin Luther King Jr.] died working for who? -- Sanitation workers in Memphis. If you're going to talk about the fulfillment of Martin Luther King dream, begin with the issue of poverty," West told the congregation.

Outside of Ebenezer Church, hundreds of people huddled in the cold weather to watch the event on a Jumbo-tron.

Some had traveled across the country to celebrate the holiday in King's hometown.

The event was largely a who's who of Georgia’s Black Community.

Speakers included Atlanta's new Mayor Kasim Reed and King's daughter, Bernice King. King's older sister, Christine, who is in her eighties, presided over the event.