Parade celebrates Black History - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Parade celebrates Black History

February 28, 2004

Albany- Dozens of South Georgians hit the streets of downtown Albany to take place in what they call a new chapter in Albany's Black history.

"This is the beginning. This is history in the making," says parade organizer, Henry Thomas.

Participants in the first ever Albany Black history parade marched from downtown to the banks of the Flint River, according to some a perfect way to mark a half century of the city's civil rights movement.

"I'm sure the groans of hundreds of our people that were murdered and thrown into this river call out to us to keep up the march, to keep up the fight, to keep up the education of our children," says Civil Rights Activist Charles Sherrod.

Marchers say the event not only reflects the struggles of the past, but sets tone for the future.

"Our young people that are here today are not aware of the 50's and the 60's and what we went through in those days. So, we want them to know that we marched, and we've been marching for a long time now," says Bishop John Burr, Albany NAACP Chapter President.

"I hope that impact that we could make its time for us to start planting the seed, and start teaching our younger generation, and to tell you the truth it seems like we need to start teaching our older generation that somebody had to fight for us. somebody had to die for us to get to this point," adds parader organizer, Charles Williams.

"We need to let our children know, as well as white children, and Japanese children, all children all over the world need to know what we contributed to the world," Henry Thomas says.

And it's those contributions that marchers say they hope everyone will focus on as they make history by highlighting history.

This is the first year of the event, and organizers say they want to make next year's parade three times as large. They plan to hold the event on the 4th Saturday in February.

Posted at 6:15 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com