by Amirah Ransom

The Greater Canton Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission sponsored a table at the Urban League’s Black and White Ball held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Canton Downtown.  The theme of the ball was Together Towards Tomorrow.  U.S. Representative of Ohio’s 13th Congressional District Emilia Sykes was the night’s featured speaker.  Ms. Sykes spoke of the challenges of mastering the political structure being a minority, and a democrat in order to get things accomplished.  She stated just being recognized as a legislator at the Capital and State House was one of the first hurdles she had to face.  Even when she was vouched for by fellow legislators she was searched and refused entry into the buildings because she did not “look like” a legislator.  She stated that she understood that she was a minority but there was nothing minor about her.  She noted that Ohio led the nation in black representation in the State House and she understood that this was made possible by those who preceded in her office.  She stated that Shirley Chisholm ran for President 50 years ago so that the next person would be taken seriously.  She encouraged those in attendance to demand to be included because they belong in office.  The Greater Canton Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission is a proud sponsor of the Canton Urban League and we salute their efforts in supporting change for over 335 lives this past year.