Retired Gen. Colin Powel addressed a sell-out crowd of 2,000 at today’s 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The event, sponsored by the General Mills foundation and UNCF, was broadcast live by TPT and will be rebroadcast at 7 tonight and again at 6 p.m. Jan. 25, both airings on Channel 17.
The General Mills Foundation and UNCF (United Negro College Fund) have sponsored the holiday breakfast since 1991.
Here are excerpts from a report prepared by General Mills on the speech:
“Mindful of tomorrow’s inauguration of the nation’s first African-American president, General Powell shared his perspective about the election and its ties to Dr. King’s legacy. He spoke passionately about Dr. King’s journey from a small-town preacher to Nobel laureate in just nine years.
“Inspire? Lord, did he inspire,” General Powell said. “He inspired millions around the world to believe that things could be changed, that you could throw off the chains holding you down and rise up.”
During General Powell’s own career as soldier, statesman and citizen, he broke many barriers, including serving as the first African-American to hold the positions of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993) and U.S. secretary ofsState (2001-2005).
Tomorrow’s events in Washington demonstrate that America has made progress, but there is “much more we have to do to meet the dreams of Dr. King,” General Powell said.
“I congratulate you all for giving the Twin Cities community the opportunity to come together and remember the legacy of this great American, a man whose life perfectly matched the theme you have chosen for this breakfast — to lead, grow, inspire.”