John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE Inc., delivers the keynote speech during the 27th annual MLK banquet at the Paramount Plaza Hotel in Gainesville.
Staff writer
Published: Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 10:34 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 83 years old Sunday, five days shy of the third anniversary of the inauguration of the first black president.

The world is significantly different from the one King left when he was assassinated in 1968, with the civil-rights movement giving way to a struggle over class, said John Hope Bryant, the founder of Operation HOPE, which provides economic education in under-served areas, in his keynote address at the 27th annual banquet honoring King’s legacy in Gainesville.

“The 21st century is about economics. Greece’s problem is not more democracy, it’s too much debt,” said Bryant, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

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