Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory honored

Published 11:36 am Tuesday, January 22, 2019

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

It was a time of reflection and celebration during the West End Community Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade and program.

A reccurring theme throughout the event was the importance of continuing the progress that had been made by having young people become involved.

As the parade ended at E.M. Henry Head Start, attendees went inside and found a seat.

Featured speaker Robert Binion began his talk by reflecting on how the MLK parade has grown in the past 25 years.

“Dr. King was a great leader,” Binion said. “He was a man who laid his life down for somebody else … He was a man that was after God’s heart.”

Binion said he was in Selma during the historic march and emphasized that the work King started is not complete.

“We don’t have the time to rest,” Binion said. “We don’t have the luxury to rest because all the equal rights, and everything is being turned back.”

He said young people need to be encouraged and shown how to keep working to maintain their rights.

“We are in a time where men have forgotten about one another,” Binion said. “We are in a time and era where all are self-centered.”

He emphasized that this was not what God wanted, and individuals needed to turn to the Bible for guidance on how to treat people.

He put out a challenge for others to join him in February in prayer and visiting everyone in the community as a part of “Negro History Month.”

“We can’t just give our community away,” Binion said. “We have got to fight for what we have.”

This year’s program also featured singing, a performance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by Pastor Jahmia Keebler, and a performance of the poem “It’s OK,” by Minster Lorene Ward.

“I wanted to reflect on where we came from,” Ward said. “Dr. King worked so hard. He was jailed. He fought to get the pavement work done that we may have the rights to the things that we do have. This poem … reflects on don’t forget where we came from. It is OK to remember where we came from because that is how we can give God the glory … and thank and praise him that we made it over.”

National gospel music promoter Jerol Tyson served as grand marshal of this year’s parade.

“Today is a very important day,” Tyson said, emphasizing that the work of King should never be forgotten.

He also addressed the youth present and encouraged them to stay on the right path, get education and stay away from bad influences.

Maplesville Town Council member Richard Davis said he remembers “the things you read about … concerning the struggles of the ’50s and ’60s.”

“Many people gave their lives for what you are enjoying today,” Davis said. “Everybody ought to be able to shout out loud when it comes to equal rights and fair rulings. Of course, this is available to us (now).”

He emphasized the importance of knowing the truth through knowing God because without that any efforts are meaningless.

“I am of that age that we saw a lot of injustices,” Ernest Abercrombie of the Chilton County NAACP said. “Our kids are not facing these injustices because we have made the way for them.”

Abercrombie said young people need to be taught about what happened before, so they do not have to go through them and take a stand against injustices that still exist.”