Happy, Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today as I have done for around 20 years or more I have taken a vacation day to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. MLK, Jr. because I have been actively engaged in speaking out trying to make Edgecombe County but not limited to a better place to live, work and play.

I remember the day in 1968 when Dr. King was killed I was 6 years old.

I registered to vote on my 18th birthday and in the late 80’s I became a member of the Democratic Party and joined Black Workers For Justice. In the early 90’s I joined the Rocky Mount Branch of the NAACP. I became an advocate for education in the early 90’s because I seen the need to be a voice for the children, parents and staff.

I have endured much in my fight for justice over the years but I will not give anything for my journey. I could just stay home because if I don’t do anymore I have done enough. But because it is in my DNA and because of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fight for justice, his dream and moreso his work, I can not stop now.

I used to be excited about the Dr. MLK Celebrations especially the march however over the years the excitement ain’t been the same because it bothers me to see folk come out only during the celebrations especially the march when I have not seen them actively engaged in the fight for justice in Edgecombe County but not limited to. I pick and choose carefully what celebrations I attend.

I attended and videoed plus took videos at the Edgecombe County Entrepreneurs 28th Annual Commemorative Banquet at Edgecombe Community College Tarboro Campus whereby David Joyner Founder Joyners Media and Strategies Inc. on Saturday night. I attended and videoed the Dr. MLK Annual Candlelight Service hosted by the Deacons at Ebenezer Baptist Church Rocky Mount NC Nash County on Sunday whereby Congressman G.K. Butterfield was the keynote speaker.

I am about to head out to the Edgecombe County Annual Breakfast whereby Dr. Thomas L. Walker Pastor Ebenezer Baptist Church will be the speaker at 8:00 AM. Immediately following the Annual March will take place beginning at St. James Baptist Church Tarboro and end at Edgecombe Community College Tarboro Campus. The Lunch With The King will be held at the College immediately following the march and the Honorable Sheriff Clee Atkinson Sheriff of Edgecombe County will bring forth the message.

My day will include with traveling to North Pitt High School to video SouthWest Edgecombe High School basketball game whereby I have been volunteering my time to video their games for the school since the late 90’s.

So if you are reading this what do you do throughout the year? Are you an advocate for justice? Do you attend local meetings holding your local elected officials accountable for their actions and offering your services to help make things better?

Or do you just come out to be with the crowd during the Dr. King Celebrations? If you can’t be seen in my videos and photos that mean that more than likely you were not there.

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Area events to honor King’s legacy Rocky Mount Telegram

A series of events will take place over the next several days in the Twin Counties to honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

In Rocky Mount, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission in partnership with the city will host different events with the overall theme called “Unfinished Work of a Dreamer.” The rescheduled MLK oratorical competition will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences.

Officials said students in grades six through eight will speak on the theme “Building Bridges,” while speeches for contestants in grades nine through 12 will speak around the theme of “Unfinished Work of a Dreamer.”

Ebenezer Baptist Church will hold its annual candlelight service at 5 p.m. Sunday at the church at 702 W. Raleigh Blvd. U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-1st District, will be the guest speaker. The theme of the evening will be “MLK50: Where Do We Go From Here.”

On King’s birthday, the 30th annual Unity Breakfast will begin at 7 a.m. Monday at the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan College. The program is headlined by guest speaker, Synthia Saint James, who is known for her versatility as an artist, author, educator and architectural designer.

Following the Unity Breakfast, volunteers will come together for the annual Day of Service projects sponsored by Wesleyan.

Edgecombe County is preparing to host a slew of activities for the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration committee will be holding its 28th annual MLK events, which are coordinated by the Edgecombe County Human Relations Commission, The Ebonette Club Inc., Tarboro Area Ministers, D.R.E.A.M Social & Civic Club and Edgecombe Entrepreneur Organization.

One of the featured events will be the commemorative banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday at Edgecombe Community College’s Mobley Atrium Building. The guest speaker will be David Joyner, president of Joyner Media & Strategies Inc. Carlton Jones, member of the Edgecombe Entrepreneur Organization, said the traditional banquet typically draws about 400 people.

Jones added the high-school winner of the annual oratorical contest also will be speaking. In addition, the first-, second- and third-place winners of the elementary school annual poster contest will have their work displayed at the banquet.

“This is a big event, and we will have a combination of county government officials, along with local and state officals coming,” Jones said. (U.S. Rep.) G.K. Butterfield has come to the event on numerous occasions. Before the event, there are several of Dr. King’s famous speeches that are being played to reflect back on who he was and what he has meant not only for blacks, but also the country as a whole.”

Three events will take place in Edgecombe County on the King holiday. It kicks off with a Unity Breakfast at 8 a.m. Monday in the auditorium of the Edgecombe County Administrative Building. The Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Walker, who last year celebrated 50 years in ministry and 47 years as pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, will be the guest speaker.

Following the breakfast, people in the community will gather for the commemorative march starting at 10 a.m. The march will start at St. James Temple Missionary Baptist Church on McNair Road and end at Edgecombe Community College.

“We usually have between 300 to 400 members of the community come together because Dr. King was always marching for justice and social issues,” Jones said. “This is another way for the community to come together.”

The last of the Monday events is the Lunch with the King from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus. The guest speaker with be Edgecombe County Sheriff Clee Atkinson Jr.

Jones said the different activities dedicated to King is an opportunity for people — especially the younger generations — to understand what one of the most influential figures ever in the civic rights movement stood for, which was equality and justice for all people.

“His heart was in the right place and still today, we’re still pursuing those same justices that he was pursuing before he was assassinated in April of 1968,” Jones said. “He was on the march for peace and justice. I think most people today are conscious that we haven’t reached the goals that Dr. King set back in the 1960s. These events give each individual opportunity just to come together and reflect back on what his mission was and still is today.”

Other Nash County MLK events that will take place include the 26th annual Martin Luther King Memorial Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at Smith Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Enfield. Greater Joy Church in Rocky Mount is hosting its ninth annual MLK Day service starting at 11 a.m. Monday. The service is followed by a black business expo that will feature more than 100 local and regional businesses.

In addition, the 21th annual MLK Community Empowerment Alliance will host a Community Empowerment Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Monday at the Franklinton Center at Bricks in Whitakers. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Victor Wade.

Also, the Whitakers Club will host the 20th annual Whitakers MLK Day Motorcade and March starting at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The event will begin at Whitakers Town Park and end at Bloomer HIll Community Center. The 28th annual MLK Day celebration will start at 11 a.m. Monday at Bloomer Hill Community Center in Whitaker.  Whitakers Mayor Esterine Pitt will be the guest speaker.