Area residents brave frigid temperatures to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

By TIM GETER,

On January 15, 1929 a boy by the name Martin Luther King Jr was born to his mother Alberta Williams King and father Martin Luther King Sr.

King grew up as a very educated man who once said that “we are not the makers of history; we are made by history.” He was a social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. According to history and his legacy, this was a man who sought equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest.

He was the sole force that kept prevailing and pushing his beliefs administering to people all over. He was the voice behind the events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Remembering his legacy, on Monday January 15, King’s actual birth date and the national holiday, Forest residents braved frigid temperatures and walked 3.8 miles in his honor.

Residents like Louis Washington and her children Tierra, Seirra, and Kentavis came out among many other adults and children enjoying the fellowship and seeing older and younger people gathering together. As Louis Washington walked the streets of forest along side her children she said that she, “really enjoys this walk and seeing all the young people celebrating together.”

For some this was their first walk, like Rex Watts who continued to walk along side his granddaughter Shaniya Brown saying, “I thank the Lord for the many sacrifices that Martin Luther King Jr. and others put up for all of mankind for civil rights. Not only for the black community but for all no matter what color you are, yellow, black, or white.” “May this day keep younger generations motivated in order to keep love peace and happiness for all man kind.”

Leading the walk were Grand Marshalls Girl Scout Troop 3205, which included April Jennings the Scout leader, Lanyah Singleton, Jaden Singleton, Mikea Robinson, Amorle Grey, Amiricale Turnich, Rhonda Carter, and Tonya Pickens.

Following the Scouts were Henry Slaughter and Andrew Crudup the mentors of children who attend Hawkins Middle School. The Children that were with them on Monday were Phillip Brown, Maurice Sanders, David Hilton and James Burwell. As they walked each one of these young men would take the place of each other while carryng Slaughter Memorial Foundation banner.

These citizens along with many other people in the United States always have kept in mind that history is a learning tool, such as, Dewaun Walker who walking along side Roy Pinkston said, “This is an important walk. It allows us to remember the struggles that African Americans had in the times of our past; we do this so that we can keep his legacy going, so that these young people don’t repeat history but move forward to a brighter future.” 

Constance Slaughter Harvey, for 21 years, has seen many people young and old walk this traditional walk remembering the legacy of Dr. King. “For 21 years in this Community we have worked hard for the young people and there families as well, to understand the significance of Dr. King’s dream,” Harvey said. She added that this event related to the American dream. “His dream to what we refer to as the American dream. Where all people are treated equally and where justice is on the agenda as opposed to wealth, who you know, and what you have.” Harvey said.

“Many people have been educated and introduced to the dream and when I see young children that we saw on Monday really realize what the dream was really about, it makes my heart very happy.”