Civil Rights leaders celebrate King - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Civil Rights leaders celebrate King

January 15, 2007

Albany - Are we better off today than we were when Dr. King was alive? Civil Rights leaders in Albany say yes, but there is still work to be done to make sure everyone is given an equal opportunity for success.

Charles Sherrod walked with Dr. Martin Luther King Junior along the streets of Albany and today, said those footprints are still available for us to follow.  He says, "Watch my finger, go on the sidewalk, they are the foot steps of Dr. King."

Steps leading the way to equality, but Sherrod says we're not quite there. He believes there is still one area, we all could use some work.  He says, "The place I think we may be missing most is in the heart."

Other fighters for civil rights attended the celebration of King's work. Polly Cherry marched with Dr. King in New York City. Of King she says, "He was just a great person."

A person who was outspoken and unapologetic for seeking rights for minorities, much like his friend and fellow fighter, C.B. King, the only black lawyer South of Atlanta in the 1950s. His widow, Carol, says the work her husband and others did, is priceless.  She says, "Nothing in Albany was ever given. He had to sue for everything."

Sue for rights that most of us take for granted, even today. The right to go to school, to vote. The right for young people like 10-year old Nikki Walker to drink from the same water fountain as her white classmates.

Nikki says, "He changed the lives of many people without violence.  I am very grateful for that."

Grateful for a new day, when little Nikki can hopefully be judged by the content of her character, just as Dr. King wanted for his own children.

Dr. King marched in and was arrested in Albany several times in the 60s while he tried to assist with the Albany Movement to desegregate public facilities.

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