By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The community gathered on Jan. 20, many to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and still others to learn more about it at the 28th annual city-wide celebration.
The event was hosted by WMGJ radio station, with the theme of “Moving Forward in Unity.” The celebration began with a presentation: “A Historical Perspective of the Life and Moments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” prepared by WMGJ Operations Manager David Lawson.
The night’s keynote speaker, Alabama State Sen. Quinton T. Ross Jr., commented on the presentation, saying he had learned of Dr. King only through reading and learning from others after Dr. King was slain in April 1968.
“In October 1968, I was born,” Ross said. “There was someone, even before I was born, working so that someday I could walk the halls of the State House of Alabama.
“We’re come a long way, but there is still work to be done,” Ross told the audience at Convention Hall. “We all have to use the things that bind us together to move forward in unity,” Ross said.
The event included music, from Dedric Cowser, pastor of Sweet Home UMC in Gadsden; Doug Williams, 1997 “Stellar Award” recipient of Smithdale, Miss.; and the Spiritualaires of Gadsden. Fred Zackery was master of ceremonies; Earl Dudley, pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Gadsden, read the scripture, Isaiah 58-1-2; Charles Kirkpatrick, pastor of The United Christian New Beginnings Ministry in Gadsden led prayer; and Edward Jones, pastor of New Canaan Baptist Church in Gadsden, led the benediction.