Custom Class: header-top-wrapper


At this year's MLK Assembly, we welcomed Dr. Anthony Jenkins, President of Coppin State University, as our keynote speaker.

At this year's MLK Assembly, we welcomed Dr. Anthony Jenkins, President of Coppin State University, as our keynote speaker.

The entire BL community gathered together on Monday, January 8, for an assembly in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the great Civil Rights Leader whom Headmaster Chris Post has often called “the most important American never to hold public office.”

Student body president Colin Kenney ‘24 delivered a brief introduction in which he recounted the major events and accomplishments of King’s life. “[MLK’s| unwavering commitment to justice, equality, and nonviolence serves as an inspiration to all, reminding us of the ongoing fight for social justice and equality,” said Colin.

Several lower students were also given the opportunity to share their thoughts about King’s legacy. “King was compassionate,” said Mason Clash ‘31, a fifth grader in Mrs. Kelly’s class, “He felt other people’s pain, he knew what it was like to be treated unfairly, and he tried to make things better for everyone.”

Music was an important part of this year’s assembly. Ms. Kathy Anderson led the fifth and sixth grade chorus in a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Director of community, equity and inclusion Michael Powell took to the podium to speak about how BL’s Day of Service, held on Friday, January 12, honored both King’s legacy and the School’s core values. Senior Swaynee Queen ‘24 then introduced the keynote speaker, Coppin State University president Anthony L. Jenkins.

Dr. Jenkins, a US military veteran and first-generation college graduate who took over Coppin State’s presidency in 2020, spoke forcefully and engagingly, glancing only occasionally at his prepared notes. Jenkins pointed out that, like him, King was the product of an HBCU (Historically Black College or University), Morehouse College in Georgia. 

“I want to talk to you and challenge you to be a better version of yourself, based on the spirit of Dr. King’s work and the principles that he stood on,” he told students.

Dr. Jenkins recalled the first time he ever heard MLK’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. “I was sitting in Ms. Queen’s third grade class on the south side of Washington, DC,” he said, “There was something about his words: the calmness in his face, yet the urgency in his voice.”

At nine years old, he was too young to fully understand King’s words, but still they left an indelible impression. “What he said and how he said it has stood throughout my life,” he asserted. Dr. Jenkins continued speaking about his early experiences without racial prejudice and low societal expectation, which he was able to overcome with the help of a strong mother and an outstanding education.

He ended his stirring speech with an inspirational message to students. “With our eyes on the horizon, and Dr. King’s dream still unfulfilled, let us continue to fight the good fight,” he urged, “And never forget that the responsibility is ours to do better, want better, and be better.”

Following the keynote address, Headmaster Post thanked President Jenkins and also the numerous faculty and students involved in the assembly.

Please use the following link to access a video of the assembly. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. assembly 2024