Hundreds honor King legacy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds honor King legacy

January 19, 2004

Albany- Hundreds gathered for the 23 annual commemorative program and breakfast at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Keynote speaker Judge Willie Lockette reminds the crowd that church is where King's dream began. "He was first a foremost a Baptist preacher. He preached the word of God and he wanted to use the word of God as a means of inspiring people to do those things that were right, not only in God's sight but also in man's sight," Lockette says.

For the past two decades the program has been hosted by the Hands Extending Across Reaching Together, or H.E.A.R.T. Organization, a group of Procter and Gamble employees dedicated to keeping King's legacy alive.

Members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union also dedicated honoring the slain civil rights leader, used a page from King's own book and held a march through downtown Albany.

"We're trying to keep the dream alive. We're trying to get it to the young people what he stood for. Martin Luther King did a lot for us and we don't want people to forget that and that's why we're out here today," explains Dorothy Scott of RWDSU, and coordinator of the march.

"Many years ago shrinedom was only allowed for white Shriners, but we led a fight back in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. that gave us the right to work and act as Prince Hall Shriners in the United States," says march participant and Shriner, Anthony Kelly.

"Martin Luther King said he wanted to see the blacks and whites join hands together as sisters and brothers and that's what I'm here today for. I want to hear justice ring not only in the Albany , but all the surrounding counties even in Georgia. Let's have justice and freedom ring to our nation," says Minister Mary Williams.

Through their celebrations South Georgians say they will not only honor and celebrate, but continue to keep the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. alive.

Dr. Martin Luther King was the first African-American to have a holiday named in his honor. His birthday was observed as a national holiday for the first time in 1986.

Posted at 3:25 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com