More than 600 viewers tuned in to celebrate Bone McAllester Norton’s 20th annual MLK Day Fellowship Breakfast on January 18, 2021. This year’s breakfast was reimagined into a virtual event to account for safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the event looked different, it was clear that the law firm’s mission and desire to fulfill Dr. King’s legacy rings as true as ever.
President and CEO Charles Robert Bone was joined by firm founders Charles W. Bone and Stacey Garrett Koju to reflect on previous MLK Day breakfasts and the ways this day each year have shaped our city by connecting city leaders and carrying out the legacy of Dr. King.
“This national holiday has been marked as a day on, not a day off. It is the only national holiday designated to encourage all Americans to volunteer to build and build up their community,” Charles Robert said.
“The ultimate formation of this firm really represents Dr. King’s legacy, and we wanted to celebrate it,” Stacey said. She shared more about the firm’s first celebration 20 years ago, which began with a cup of coffee and a goal to bring the community together to celebrate, reflect and remind us of the importance of Dr. King’s message.
Speakers and performers from the firm’s previous MLK Day celebrations were featured and honored in the video, including the late civil rights movement titan Dr. C.T. Vivian, as well as civil rights leaders Ambassador Andrew Young, Diane Nash and Bernard Lafayette, Barry Scott and many others. Musical performances were also remembered from the Fisk Jubilee Singers to The McCrary Sisters, the KIPP Academy Choir, and Merging Blue.
“There’s a certain pride here that I think comes out of the flood of 2010 and continues to go forward – that Nashville can overcome,” Charles W. said. “It is really interesting when you tie that in with Dr. King’s statement. He said, “I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in this community.”
Caleb Perry, son of Bone McAllester attorney Andrea Perry, performed a poem titled “Legacy” written by Andrea herself, which honored those “who dared to dream and those who keep the dream burning bright.”
To conclude this year’s presentation, Bone McAllester Norton reaffirmed its commitment to the Nashville community and especially to the National Museum of African American Music this year, by counting down to the virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony of this revolutionary Museum of African American Music, which opened for the first time on the 2021 MLK holiday.