HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day to honor the civil rights icon and his mission for equality. A Huntsville clothing store is working to fulfill Dr. King's dream by helping advance poor, black communities.
There's a movement inside Zenzele Consignment. It's called Uhuru, which is Swahili for freedom, and focuses on the social and economic conditions of African people.
At Zenzele, freedom isn't taken lightly.
Reclaim the memory of MLK
"They tell us over and over again that Dr. King had a dream, but did you know just months before his death in a television interview, Dr. King said, 'That dream that I had that day has at many points turned into a nightmare.'" Dr. Aisha Fields is the international director of the All African People's Development and Empowerment Project. The clothing store is the economic arm of the project.
"We have to reclaim the memory and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King," said Fields. To her, reclaiming King's legacy means spreading awareness.
What APPDEP is doing overseas to help African people
Zenzele Consignment is using postcards to get the word out that it has programs presented by black people for black people on health, politics, and education. The group's helping more than just north Alabama.
"APPDEP led by Aisha Fields was able to develop maternal healthcare centers where the mortality rate in Sierra Leone was crazy," said Zenzele marketing director Kundai Bajikikayi.
In Sierra Leone, a country UNICEF reports having one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world, APPDEP built clinics provide a safe place for women to give birth.
"I believe that the extremely narrow and limiting view of Dr. King, that the ruling class feeds us, is part of an intentional attempt to distort his legacy," said Fields.
How to get involved with the mission
The group is moving Dr. King's legacy forward by helping the black community here and abroad.
Zenzele Consignment is looking for volunteers. If you are interested, you can attend an orientation meeting at the store on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.