Panel members share MLK’s influences on their lives

January 22, 2019 GMT

Sharon Tucker’s mother didn’t make a big production of teaching her four daughters about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But her mother, who is the daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers, urged her children to work hard and take nothing for granted.

“She would tell us people were sprayed with fire hoses and chased by dogs and killed for the opportunities you have,” Tucker said Monday.

A Democratic member of the Allen County Council who recently announced she is running for Fort Wayne City Council, Tucker said it was her own research as a young person that led her to see King as a role model.


It was one of his remarks about courage that did it.

“Courage is an inner resolve to go forward despite obstacles,” she said, quoting King during Fort Wayne’s 34th annual Unity Day celebration marking the civil rights leader’s birthday, “not because it is popular or politic but because it is right.”

Tucker keeps the saying on her office wall.

“That is how I try to live my life every day,” she added.

Tucker spoke as part of a panel that represented a first for the event’s sponsor, the Martin Luther King Jr. Club : one featuring diverse community leaders who spoke about how King has influenced their lives.

King’s 90th birthday was Jan. 15. Other panelists were former Fort Wayne Police Chief Garry Hamilton, City Councilman Geoff Paddock (D-5th), Fort Wayne Urban Enterprise Association Director Trois Hart and El Mexicano newspaper Editor Fernando Zapari.