Okolona remembers Martin Luther King

CJ-0123-MLK-Okolona-3C.jpgOKOLONA – Renee’ Price was quick to say she has enjoyed the fruit of the American Civil Rights movement and never suffered the indignity of those African Americans who went before here.

Speaking at the National Council of Negro Women annual Martin Luther King Memorial Breakfast, Price said she attended segregated schools in Okolona, was never turned away from a lunch counter and has voted without fear every chance she has gotten since she turned 18.

“We are here today to celebrate what Dr. King helped usher in,” said Price. “We are here to celebrate the sacrifice, the work and the dream of so many people in this community who struggled through that time.”

Price said she was taught by her parent to treat people fairly and never to judge someone by the color of their skin or their economic background. She said her parents were adamant about this because they had suffered those injustices.

“Dr. King’s message was one of faith, hope, peace and love,” said Price. “That message it to all people in this country and in our world.”

Price also pointed to Monday’s presidential inauguration ceremonies in the nation’s capital.

“As we observe the second term of our first African American President, let us be reminded of what has come to pass,” said Price. “Let us also be reminded of what the dream was and has it been realized.”

Price also said the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., needs to be defended.

“Let’s learn to protect one another and hold each other accountable to ensure the dream stays alive,” said Price. “We should never give up hope. We should never give up on our country.”

Monday’s event saw a Memory Candle lit in honor of Sen. Benny Tuner, Rep. David Gibbs and Rep. Alice Hardin.

The ceremony at Calvary Baptist Church in Okolona saw prayer by Pastor Clarence Frison, music by Baby Steps choir, Porsha Hardin, Courtney Darden and Autumn Bankhead and reading and poetry by Dan Judd, Alexis Wilburn and DeArieus Brown.

Price, a graduate of Okolona High School and an elementary school teacher in Tupelo, was introduced by her mother, Genevia Larry.

Monday’s program was under the direction of NCNW Okolona Section President Mary L. Gates and NCNW First Vice President Juanita Head.