Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
On Monday, Jan. 15, the Madison County Chapter of the Charmettes, Inc. held their annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program. The event began with a service at Mt. Zion Church, followed by a march to the Madison County Courthouse. Once at the courthouse, those present heard presentations from clergy members from various local churches, as well as from local young people.
Charmettes member Gwen Hubbard welcomed everyone to the program. Then, Madison County High School (MCHS) senior Ta'Ronn Johnson gave a stirring recitation of Dr. King's famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech was first given by King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Aug. 28, 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Rev. Octavious Tookes, Pastor of Revelations Missionary Baptist Church gave a prayer, followed by a scripture reading by Rev. Ernest Raines, Pastor of Young Reaper Missionary Baptist Church. Emily Dickey recognized public officials who were present at the program.
Madison County Central School sixth grade student Amari Alexander read her essay, “What 'Take a Knee' Means to Me.” In her essay, Alexander explained why she supports the recent actions by professional football players wherein they refuse to stand during the playing of the National Anthem, instead choosing to kneel on one knee as a form of protest. MCHS students Keytavia Edwards and Lorrenzo Lee sang for those in attendance.
The keynote speaker for the program was Rev. Jessica Muse, Pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church in Greenville. During her address, Muse gave highlights from Dr. King's life and recounted the work he did in furthering the cause of civil and human rights. Muse urged all in attendance to register to vote and exercise that right when elections are held. Muse also stressed her desire to hold officials accountable once they are elected.
The program ended with Rev. Charles Barfield, Pastor of Pineland Missionary Baptist Church leading everyone in a closing prayer.