|Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebrated |
|The Weakley County community honored MLK Holiday by participating in a “United March” and church service sponsored by the local branch of the NAACP. |
A community-wide breakfast kicked off the activities at McCabe United Methodist Church.
The group then gathered at the old location of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church and marched to the current location on Peach Street.
During the “United March” the group sang hymns that were reflective of the Civil Rights Movement.
The church program included recognition of county leaders, pastors, and special guests. Mt. Mariah Baptist Church choir from Cairo, Ill. resonated an array of traditional and conventional hymns.
Rev. Russell Morrow of Miles Chapel Church, Martin, as the keynote speaker, spoke on the theme, “What About the Children? The Dream Revealed.” Pastor Morrow presented the story of Joshua as Moses’ successor, leading the children of Israel into the land of Canaan.
He stated that the “children of Israel made it by the grace of God, as has African Americans. We have benefited from the works of Dr. King in education, social justice, and health care. Even with progress, ‘something is not right.’
“We have moved onward but have lost the passion our forefathers had 40 years ago during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Life was difficult then but people had pride. We need to rekindle the passion. We need to teach our children about the legacy and works of Dr. King.
“We need to pass on the values and challenges to our youth as did Joshua to the children of Israel. It is the youth that will carry on the fight.”
Rev. Morrow distributed 10 Practical Suggestions for Continuing the Dream compiled by members of the Weakley County Branch of the NAACP. These include:
1. To encourage citizens in the community to become more involved with the local school system, by joining and attending Parent-Teacher Organization meetings, parent-teacher conferences and school board meetings.
2. To encourage people in the community to attend county commission meetings and runfor a county-wide position.
3. To encourage all citizens to register to vote and become members of the local NAACP.
4. To encourage citizens to become certified to be employed with the local school system as educational assistants, substitute teachers, secretaries, teachers and principals, counselors and other job positions.
5. To encourage citizens in the community to attain credentials to be employed as law enforcement officials.
6. To encourage citizens in the community to become business entrepreneurs, owning restaurants, retail stores and providing other viable services to the public.
7. To encourage members of the community to create tutorial centers to assist black and underprivileged youth with academic skills.
These centers should be staffed with volunteers so that these tutorial services could be offered free of charge or a minimal charge.
8. To establish centers whereby adult men/women can serve as mentors for troubled youth.
9. To establish and support programs to help teach financial literacy to our youth and adults.
10. To establish or support programs that focus on health care issues relating to African Americans, especially the youth.
Rev. Morrow also discussed and distributed to the congregation Nguza Saba – The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa by Dr. Maulana Karenga, from An African American Social Value System. The principles are:
* Umoja (Unity) – To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race;
* Kujichagulia (Self-Deter-mination) – To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves;
* Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) – To build and maintain our community together and make our brother and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together;
* UJamaa (Cooperative Economics) – To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together;
* Nia (Purpose) – To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness;
* Kuumba (Creativity) – To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it; and
* Imani (Faith) – To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
The next meeting of the Martin-Weakley County Branch of the NAACP is Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Fuller Street Baptist Church.
For information, please contact Nichole Claybrooks at 587-5681.