Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

King’s dream ‘a work in progress’

By
From page A1 | January 22, 2013 | Leave Comment

An image of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. graces the screen behind Mashood Danmole as he reads a poem during a dramatic presentation, "MLK's America ... A Work in Progress," at Monday's King Day celebration at the Varsity Theatre. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

There was a distinct feeling of anticipation building among local residents as they filed into the last remaining seats in the Varsity Theatre for Davis’ celebration of Martin Luther King Day on Monday.

“What a thing, really, to be celebrating Dr. King’s birthday and the second inauguration,” said keynote speaker Sujatha Baliga before pausing — interrupted by the applause of a clearly enthusiastic crowd of more than 300 — “of a brilliant African-American president of the United States.”

Baliga, who spoke on restorative justice as it relates to King’s hopes for equality, headlined the 19th annual city-sponsored ceremony. Her words on conflict resolution were never far from an admission of the long road that still lies ahead to achieving the slain civil rights leader’s dream.

The celebration got under way on a dramatic note, with the lights dimmed and 20 actors streaming down the theater aisles, all holding protest signs against a backdrop of photos of King.

A group of community activists organized the theatrics, which included the re-enactment of two apathetic protesters receiving encouragement from others. The performance climaxed with a poem read by Mashood Danmole, who has a personal investment in the King’s message. 

Danmole says he was a victim of racial prejudice while working as an engineer at Fortune 500 companies in the Silicon Valley. Now living in Davis, he has observed much more subtle racism, but it’s still there.

He’s hoping events such as Monday’s King remembrance help to remedy Davis’ tendency toward the less overt side of racism. However, he said it’s going to take a continued conversation that breaches the surface of the problem.

“It seems that in many cases, there’s plenty of rallying of the troops, but at the end of the day, nothing gets done,” Danmole added. “We’re still experiencing the issues that fall short of people’s radar.

“I think we’re going to have to get more in depth on the subtleties of everyday life, like how people get treated at the bank, or in the grocery store. As a community, we’re going to have to embrace these subjects and delve into those painful things.”

Between the welcoming dramatics and the keynote speaker was a panel discussion addressing a difficult topic. The group was moderated by Tilahun D. Yilma, a professor of virology at UC Davis, and consisted of Bernita Toney, Cruz Reynoso, Sasha Abramsky and Joe Schwartz.

The discussion — based on “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander’s best-selling book — concentrated on the incarceration rates for people of color. The focus was particularly on African-American men, who make up more than 70 percent of inmates nationwide.

After citing statistics that caused some audience members to react with gasps — like 33 percent of African-American men facing incarceration sometime in their lives — the panel focused on solutions to the factors that have created such a disparity. Policy reform to the criminal justice system was examined, among other things.

Local politicians were in attendance to hear the suggestions, including Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, Davis City Councilman Brett Lee, and Davis Board of Education members Sheila Allen and Tim Taylor.

Wolk offered his own perspective on the state of equality in Davis, and challenged residents to find inspiration to mobilize in the words of King.

“King called life’s most persistent and urgent question ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” Wolk said. “I ask everyone in this room, what are you doing for others? For me, that call to action — that introspection — is much of what this day is all about.”

The event concluded with a folk song performed by three Davis Freedom Riders who marched with King in the 1960s — Dick Holdstock, Terry Turner and the Rev. John Pamperin.

The crowd swayed side to side as they sang along to the tune, and followed the musicians out of the theater and onto the street. Half of the attendees dispersed, and the others were led on a brief Freedom March through downtown Davis.

Pamperin, one of the Freedom Riders, teetered between animated and somber as he marched with the pack. He was emotional because the ceremony was dedicated to former Davis City Councilman Jerry Kaneko, who died last week.

Still, the message behind Monday’s celebration of King resonated with the longtime civil rights activist. “Hopefully, some of the suggestions provided today can be tended to,” Pamperin said.

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

UCD admits record number; 4,284 from abroad

By Cory Golden | From Page: A1

 
Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

 
Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

 
Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

 
Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

 
Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8