Change is the word of the hour. Martin Luther King, Jr., would have embraced that message, said Christopher Jackson, location manager of the Alcoa, Inc., Tennessee Operations’ Rigid Packaging Division. Jackson addressed a packed room at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Business Luncheon at Denso on Friday, Jan. 16.
King wanted a change in America that had nothing to do with riots or violence, said Jackson. King encouraged Americans to face their flaws and insisted that the country could not go on without a restructuring of society, said Jackson. “Did he mean riots and lots of fussing?” Jackson asked the crowd. “Emphatically not - rioting is reactionary and invites defeat.”
Jackson asked those gathered what Martin Luther King, Jr., Day means to them. He told of the progress the country has made before and since King’s death. When he stood at the National Civil Rights Museum at 450 Mulberry Street in Memphis, the location of the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated in 1968, Jackson said he felt many emotions. “There remains faith and hope,” he said.
But Jackson said life has changed and progress has been made in the years since King lived. “My, my, my, what a change 40 years can make,” he said.
Jackson said King encouraged Americans to question the capitalistic system. “King’s message was we question the system and ask what we could do together to make things better,” he said. “King envisioned a change in which an attitude of accountability lived within each and every one of us.”
Bob Booker, manager of Legal, Environmental Engineering and Community Relations/Communications with Denso, praised Jackson and mentioned his time at West Point military academy.
“When Chris was at West Point, he was a boxer, and he never lost a fight,” he said. “All of us are fortunate Chris is here fighting for us.”
Following Jackson’s presentation, Sharon Hannum thanked Josephine Stewart for catering the event. “She’s been catering this occasion for years. I want to thank her for the spirit she brings and the professionalism she shows,” Hannum said.