Monday, 15 January 2018 14:49

Mainers remember Martin Luther King Jr. at the University of Maine Featured

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ORONO -  50 years since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and on what would have been his 89th birthday, many people from all walks of life gathered at the University of Maine in Orono for a special breakfast celebration commemorating Dr. King's life and talking about how it impacted theirs.

"It was about equal rights for all mankind regardless of age race, creed, sexual creed, and religion," said Dennis Simon, who just moved to Bangor from Dallas, Texas in May. 

More than 300 people filled the Wells Conference Center Monday.

There were families, university students and staff and even state legislators in attendance.

"It's a renewance of the progress we need to make," said Reginald Johnson, a former Chief Petty Building Officer in the Navy. "Not just black Americans, but all Americans, all lives matter."

He credits Dr. King for paving a way for his career.

"I remember the doors that were opened for me through desegregation," says Johnson. 

Simon was able to recall his time marching with Coretta Scott King and reflect on the qualities that set Dr. King apart from others.

"Being authentic, just being real and being loving and kind," he said. 

Maine representative Craig Hickman gave the keynote address.

He was just one-year-old when king was assassinated. 

"In some ways the arc of my life corresponds to the time that's past since Martin left us," said Hickman.

He says there is one quality of Dr. King that we can all take with us.

"Persistence, you never give up, you never turn around, you rise up after being knocked down and you keep moving."

The celebration was co-sponsored by the Greater Bangor Area NAACP and the University's Division of Student Life.

Blake Lipton

Morning Anchor/Reporter

Blake Lipton joined the ABC 7 and Fox 22 news team in January of 2016 and is excited to start his career in television as a morning anchor at our station!

He is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina and has previously interned with the ESPNU/SEC Network, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and the WOLO sports department in Columbia, South Carolina during his time in school.

Blake also worked with the Weather Channel to help cover the historic South Carolina floods in the fall of 2015.

While most of his experience is in sports, Blake is thrilled for the opportunity to host the morning show at Fox ABC Maine and become a more well-rounded journalist and storyteller.

When he is not anchoring or reporting, Blake enjoys hiking, reading and talking anything football. He is also a fan of coffee and hip-hop music.

Feel free to reach out to him with story ideas at or follow him on Twitter at @Blake_Lipton for the latest updates on everything Maine!