With a resounding voice

Published 10:26 pm Monday, January 19, 2009

On the surface, it could have been any parade. Kids scrambled to pick up candy thrown on the ground, fire engines sounded their sirens, and vehicles of every make and model proceeded through town.

But this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade was doubly significant, falling just a day prior to the inauguration of our first black President.

“It’s amazing, and it’s time — it’s time for a change,” Jerry Wilson of Morning Star Baptist Church said as the parade lined up.

Riding in an open vehicle, Wilson recited the famous “I have a dream” speech over a bullhorn for all to hear. Afterward, he spoke at the E.M. Henry Skill Center on the significance of that speech and how it is still relevant today.

Even though King remained the focal figure of the parade, the image of President-elect Barack Obama graced several T-shirts and posters. Many seemed to feel that the holiday’s occurrence so near the Inauguration is no coincidence.

“It’s the providence of God,” said Leroy Feagin of Clanton, “with things falling into place like they are.”

Feagin said he worked with Dr. King personally in Birmingham, where Feagin lived just a block away from the Civil Rights landmark 16th Street Baptist Church. During marches, he guarded knives and other items taken from participants and spectators.

Inauguration luncheon planned

Today, the NAACP building in Clanton is hosting an Inauguration chili luncheon from noon until 9 p.m. Admission is a donation of $4.40.