MLK Fellowship Breakfast

Charles W. Bone and Dr. Ernest Rip Patton.

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On the Monday morning that we celebrated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Tennessee State Museum was bursting at the seams with illustrious members of the Nashville community as the high-powered law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC hosted their 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Breakfast.

Nashville Mayor David Briley opened the occasion with remarks on how the national populace needs to be more responsible with their “moral authority” and closed with his hope that the city of Nashville will become the example of “prosperity spread far and wide in the community.”

Charles W. Bone and Stacey Garrett Koju, co-founders of the Bone McAllester Norton MLK Fellowship Breakfast recounted their collaborative vision of 18 years ago, of celebrating and honoring the memory of Dr. King with family, friends, and fellowship over breakfast. The small annual event became so popular that they decided to expand it and open it up to the greater Nashville community that continues to support the firm over the years.

(l-r) Willa Stansell, Ammon Turner, and Marlene Abskharaun.

There was a moment of great celebration for Cyntoia Brown. The firm’s relentless work on this historic case resulted in an eventual victory for Cyntoia Brown, as then Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted Ms. Brown clemency.

The guests were surprised with a special treat in the form of the premiere screening of the firm’s short film Perspectives. Produced by Bone McAllester Norton in collaboration with Centric Entertainment Company, this 15-minute film gives a glimpse into the minds of Nashville youth and how they feel about this country’s current political climate. The film hosts a diverse cast of Nashville high school students, each offering their perspective on race relations in this country. Guests were captivated as they as discovered the hopes, fears and dreams of our next generation of voters, leaders, and policymakers.

Dr. Ernest ‘Rip’ Patton, veteran Freedom Rider of 1961, shared his reflections on King’s legacy as a Freedom Rider on the front lines then, as well as now. He juxtaposed his experiences as a young man fighting against injustice and inequality in the ‘60s with the ideals of the younger generation in the film. Patton urged them to keep Dr. King’s dream alive and continue to fight injustices they, unfortunately, are still faced with today. He spoke directly to the cast members in Perspectives when he said, “In order to make a change, you have to get in people’s faces.” Dr. Patton’s words were inspirational and capsulized why the Bone McAllester Norton annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast is a time for reflection, an event not to be missed, and always such a heartwarming success