Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

King Event Notes Unfinished Business St. Paul Speaker Cites Continuation of Racism

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

King Event Notes Unfinished Business St. Paul Speaker Cites Continuation of Racism

Article excerpt

The title of the day's observances, "The Struggle Continues," gave an indication of the tone in the words, song and dance at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland on Sunday.

It was not so much a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s accomplishments as a recognition of unfinished business more than 50 years after the death of the civil rights leader, who is honored on Monday's federal holiday.

The annual event at the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh was organized by the St. Paul Cathedral Race and Reconciliation Dialogue Group. Participation included parishioners from the St. Benedict the Moor Church in the Hill District (part of Divine Mercy Parish) and St. Charles Lwanga Church in Homewood (part of St. Mary Magdalene Parish).

The dialogue group was created about two decades ago to foster better racial understanding in the cathedral parish.

The commemorations began at the noon Mass of Peace and Justice at the cathedral, which included music from the African American church tradition including "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "There Is a Balm in Gilead."

And they continued in a gathering afterward, which included Hope Inspirational Dancers from St. Mary Magdalene Parish and the honoring of winners of student contests for posters and essays centered on the theme of King and his legacy.

The keynote speaker, Martha Richards Conley, spoke on the continued and unrecognized legacy of racism. Ms. Conley was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and to be admitted to law practice in Allegheny County.

"The struggle does continue," she said. "The struggle to end slavery continues."

If that surprised some listeners, Ms. Conley said she was surprised to learn it, too. She recalled learning in school that the 13th amendment to the U. …

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