Expectations are high for Democrat Barack Obama as President of the United States.
However, speakers during Monday's 34th Martin Luther King Commemorative Celebration at Music Hall urged people to look within themselves to help solve the nation's problems of racism, segregation and discrimination.
That admonition came from Edith Thrower, former president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the NAACP and keynote speaker for the event.
"Let me caution you," she the crowd of about 1,000 people, "do not put all of our eggs in President Obama's basket. Real change will comeabout when you no longer tolerate these crimes against humanity."
That sentiment was echoed in prayer by the Reverend Dr. Frederick Davis, of Quinn Chapel AME Church.
"Let us not be so celebratory in our accomplishments that we forget there is still unfinished business before us in the fight for equality and justice," he said.
The Reverend Sharon Dittmar, of First Unitarian Church, said the continuing fight has to be carried out by citizens of all races, colors and creeds.
"It is not black history. It is not white history. It is American history," she stated.
Still, it was clear that the audience members appreciated the pioneering rights work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that helped pave the way for Barack Obama's election as President.
"This is a really important time to be here and support our future President," said Gail Hoffman, of the Adath Israel Congregation in Amberley Village.
"We know that we've come so far, but we know we still have a lot to do," said Deborah Backman, also of Adath Israel.
Sitting in the crowd were two dozen young men and women who are members of the Avondale Youth Council.
Many said they were charged up by the stories of Dr. King's work and Barack Obama's promises of hope.
"From where our country has come from 40 years ago to where we are now I'm just happy to be living a happy life in America," said Daniel Watkins.
Chandra Thomas added she felt inspired for herself and her family.
Ren Austin, of Wyoming, brought his wife, daughter and an Argentine exchange student staying with them.
"It was very inspiring," Austin said. "I do feel motivated to be more active."
The Voices of Freedom Choir performed numerous musical selections that moved the crowd emotionally.
Many in the audience stood up and swayed to the music, basking in the warmth of the journey behind them and the inspiration surrounding them for the work that remains.
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.