MLK march and celebration garners large attendence in spite of frigid temperatures

Staff Writer

There were dozens of people marching in West Point in honor of the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in spite of below freezing temperatures Monday morning. Those hardy souls who marched from MLK Drive to the Community Counseling Services gymnasium met up with a few hundred more people who came to attend the program. There were very few empty seats available by 10 a.m..

Anna Jones and Davidson Chapel CME Church has been making the program possible for the past 24 years.
"We would not be where we are today with the sacrifices made by Dr. King and others during the Civil Rights Movement," Jones said. "We still have a long way to go for equality in all things, but thanks to his bravery and commitment we are here and able to celebrate him."

There were many mime groups, dance groups, singers, the Drumline from West Point High School, and Santara Houston who read an essay that was chosen from many for the event.
The Clay County NAACP had a table set up for those who wished to join their membership rolls. The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., were available for those who wished to register to vote. Northside Christian Church had tickets for sale for its African American History Banquet in February. featuring Bern Nadette Stanis, of Good Times.

Rev. Dr. Robert James, president of the state of Mississippi NAACP in Stone County, took the podium as keynote speaker for the event.
"Without struggle there is no success," James said. "As a life member of the NAACP, I am what I am today because of Dr. Martin Luther King and what he stood for."
James said with the third Monday of January set aside as a time to remember King, he said he appreciated the theme of this year's event.
"Make it a day on, not a day off," James said."This is more than a day off, this is a day to take action on Civil Rights Issues. Dr. King worked hard to bring about equality."

James told his audience that King did not win a Nobel Peace Prize for standing silent, but for speaking out.
"Martin Luther King was a man able to unify black and white," James said. "Advancing Civil Rights brings a life of prosperity. Make it a day on, not a day off."

James said the people need to work with the state legislature to help with the current problems in the prison system.
"The families of those incarcerated do not need to deal with the added stresses of a broken prison system," James said. "It is time for us to see that those who are incarcerated receive adequate medical attention and are treated well, not like animals."
James said if we want to live the dream, we have to listen to the words. The words of King are still relevant to our lives today.