There was no walkout Monday when Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle was presented with the Unity Award at the 34th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast.
Instead, he received quite the opposite reaction.
People applauded the mayor as he received the award in the Von Braun Center as part of the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast. Nobody stood up and left when the mayor got the award.
Protesters outside of the Von Braun Center were holding signs of disapproval for the mayor.
The local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha hosted the 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast today. During the breakfast, they honor an individual or organization with an award if they've shown similar philosophies of King.
One protester said they don't believe Battle is the right selection. They point to a lack of economic development in north Huntsville, saying he has done nothing to help them grow, and is neglecting roads, schools and housing.
“At this point in time, since the event is getting ready to start, what I would do if I were him is just decline the award and don’t accept it," said Sharon Gayden.
In his remarks, Battle talked about how this award represents the growth of the whole city in making King’s dream come true but work still needs to be done.
"I'd rather stick on the idea that today is about unity, and it really is,” Battle said after the event. “It’s about bringing groups together, bringing your community together."