Kern County celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kern County celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. »Play Video
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, speaks to thousands during his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in Washington. Actor-singer Sammy Davis Jr., is at bottom right. It has been cited as one of America's essential ideals, its language suggestive of a constitutional amendment on equality: People should "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Yet 50 years after the King's monumental statement, there is considerable disagreement over what this quote means when it comes to affirmative action and other measures aimed at helping the disadvantaged. (AP Photo/File)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — It was a day of remembrance and a chance to look ahead to the future. Kern County residents took part in a day of service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday morning began with the most important meal of the day to honor one of the most important men of the civil rights movement.

The community breakfast also recognized Coretta Scott King, the woman by Dr. King's side.

"Everyone concentrates on Dr. King, but there was a great woman behind him," said Wesley Crawford of the MLK Breakfast Committee.

Six awards were given to members of the community who Crawford said were in the civil rights struggle for more than 50 years.

"It's the year of the woman, and today we're honoring those women in this community along with him," said Crawford.

In the southeast part of town, community members came and cleaned in the name of King.

Sean Battle of Stop the Violence has a dream for a cleaner community.

"I think it's important for the people of southeast Bakersfield to experience a clean neighborhood and learn how that affects us," Battle said.

He estimated they cleaned at least three tons of trash around nine different zones across the southeast.

At a lunch, Crawford pointed to President Barack Obama's second inauguration as an example of King's reach.

"We've come a long way. Today is the inauguration day for an African-American president. And that's a great thing, but in 1953, nobody would've ever expected that. It's the dream, it's Dr. King's dream. He said we shouldn't judge a man by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. Today we honor his legacy," Crawford said.