Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Celebration of Dr. King’s Birthday

Saturday, January 17, 2015 was a gorgeous day for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday Celebration with a Parade sponsored by the Winston County Branch NAACP. There were a few hundred people who lined Main Street in downtown Louisville, MS. The Louisville High School Marching Band led the parade from the Louisville Coliseum to Main Street and back. The parade participants that were walking might have thought as seventy year old African American woman Sister Pollard ungrammatical said after the Selma March, “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.”

The National NAACP Theme for 2015 is “All in for Justice and Equality.” Shortly after the parade, Ann Kelly, mistress of ceremonies welcomed the nearly 200 celebrants to the occasion at the Winston County Courthouse. Pastor Stacey Parvin, of Beth-Eden Lutheran Church, opened with a prayer.
A ‘hit’ at the celebration program was Kentay Roach, a 6th grader of Eiland Middle School. He did the occasion by telling why we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday and he quoted some of Dr. King’s I have a Dream speech by memory. Kentay received a standing ovation and accolades by all the other program participants that followed.

The Honorable Judge Carlton W. Reeves formerly of Yazoo City, MS, and presently the U. S. District Judge of Southern District was introduced as the speaker by the Honorable Judge Robert Beck of the West Post, Winston County. Judge Reeves made a dynamic speech. He focused a lot on voting and what it means for justice and equality; the history of the Selma March and the passing of the Voters Right Act in 1965. Judge Reeves stated that having the right to vote and the act of voting is all about Justice and Equality. He said, “Every time the polls open, you need to be there. Voting is the equalizer. Voting makes the difference. If you don’t want to vote for yourself, then vote for Medgar Edgars; vote for the founders of the NAACP; vote for the young boy Emmett Till; vote for the three young civil rights workers—a 21-year-old black Mississippian, James Chaney, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24, who were murdered near Philadelphia, MS in 1964………….” And many other civil rights workers were named. He also said, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. If you get those jury summons don’t look for excuses to not serve, SHOW UP, SHOW OUT and say I want to serve,” said Judge Reeve, “Serving on the jury gives other jurors a different perspective which can bring about justice and equality”. The later part of his speech had emphasis on us becoming citizen soldiers who open doors so others can walk through. He receives a standing ovation.

The Harvest Choir performed one song and 1st Vice President Dean Miller made remarks in the absence of Winston County Branch NAACP President Charles Hampton. The benediction was by Associate Minister Dwayne McHenry of Greensboro CME Church. There were nearly 200 participants at this celebration which was held at the Winston County Court House.

Submitted By: Elmetra Patterson