Crenshaw NAACP hold MLK celebration

The Crenshaw County branch of the NAACP held their tenth annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Monday, January 17.

The event was held at Star Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Luverne where Reverend Willie O. Edwards is the pastor.

Lisa Brown, president of the Crenshaw NAACP, welcomed everyone to the event. The theme of the event was “Honoring the Dream.”

Pastor Morris May of Petrey Methodist Church gave the Invocation to begin the event.

Pastor Brent Hall reconnected an abbreviated recount of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Pastor Willie Bryant of Unity Churches of God in Christ located in Troy, Alabama served as the guest speaker.

Bryant spoke on how the honor bestowed by King was hanging on by a thread.

“I have six children, about 18 grandchildren and believe it or not, none of them are in the audience,” Bryant said as he took responsibility for his part in not keeping the dream alive in newer generations.

He compared the dream that King had to a torch that must be passed from one to another or the fire will burn out. He told the congregation about the importance of a name; how Martin Luther King, Jr. was originally named Michael after the archangel but is name was changed.

Bryant said it was because of King that blacks had access to the things they do now, how in Petrey there is now a black pastor for a predominantly white congregation.

Bryant ended his time asking for attendees to take up the walk.

“God gives the increase,” Bryant said. “Let us walk and I promise you that God will give the increase.”

Crenshaw County Commission Chair Charlie Sankey, Jr. had some very meaningful words to share with the audience.

“Somewhere along the way it feels we have become traditionalized,” Sankey said. “That we take this as an opportunity to carry out some ritual.”

Sankey spoke of letters King wrote from a jail cell in Alabama to his wife.

“He wrote, ‘The country would be a better place if there was more discipline.’ If we would learn we can’t say what we want to say and what we want to do. He goes on to say where there is a lack of discipline, there is no conscience, and where there is no conscience there is no respect. And we wonder why our children don’t represent the history. It is because we stopped discipline.”

The congregation erupted with “amen” and applause before Sankey ended with prayer.

Lisa Brown is hoping King’s dream will continue to advance and result in equal rights for all.

” I hope one day that all ethnicities & every gender understands the beginnings of Dr. Martin Luther king’s ‘Dream’ & use it as platform to dream bigger for a better nation, a better world. Our future generations depend on it,” Lisa Brown said.
“Next year,  I hope Crenshaw County can celebrate & learn together. Civil rights not restricted to African Americans. It impacts every man, woman, child, & absolutely each gender & ethnicity in the United States of America. This is everybody’s National Holiday, no matter your political party preference. ”