Albany celebrates and honors Martin Luther King Jr. - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany celebrates and honors Martin Luther King Jr.

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

January 19, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - How fitting that this historic inauguration comes one day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

This year's MLK celebrations took on special significance because of it.

At the Albany Civic Center Monday night, hundreds gathered to commemorate what would have been the civil rights leader's 80th birthday.

Many under the Civic Center's roof remember segregation.

"It was very scary, my life was at stake every day," said Lucious Holloway Sr., Dream Award Recipient.

"I was at the University of Georgia when the university was integrated when Charlene Hunter and Hamilton Homes were there," said Carolyn Hatcher, Dream Award Recipient.

And we've come a long way.

"I think it's better than it was just look at the crowd here tonight," said Holloway Sr.

Holloway said counties like Terrell County have come a long way.

"We've got a black mayor, a black sheriff, and I serve on the board of commissioners, we've got a number of appointed positions," said Holloway Sr.

And what a great present it would have been just a day after his birth if King could have seen a black president sworn in.

"For me to see this and for everyone to see this as African Americans, something like this that wouldn't have happened 50 or 60 years ago during segregation is now happening," said Glenn Person, Tuskegee, Alabama.

Holloway is glad he's lived to see part of Dr. King's dream realized.

"During the primaries I told my wife it wouldn't happen he won't win and when he won I had to go back and tell my wife, honey you're right it happened," said Holloway Sr.

Martin Luther King died in 1968 and is survived by his three living children.

His wife Coretta Scott King died in 2006.

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