Weaverville – The Town of Weaverville hosted, at the Weaverville United Methodist Church, a memorial observance in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day last Monday. The church welcomed Reverend Louis Grant of Little Mt. Zion Baptist Church to give a sermon.
The Civil Rights movement is not as far removed in history as some may think. It has been only 53 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis.
“This day by all rights and all means ought to have a two name day,” said Reverend Grant, “Because when I was seven years old a lady sat down on the bus named Rosa Parks…she was supposed to move from her seat to another seat but God had other plans”
Most attendants listened from their cars to maintain social distancing practices. The speakers spoke into a sound system projected from a canopy next to the doors of the fellowship hall.
“Let’s not lose what we already have by forgetting how it all started,” Reverend Grant reflected. “All of a sudden God started bringing some love in and in 1955 it started getting better. From 1863 [at the Emancipation Proclamation] it started getting better. In the 1960s, Dr. King died, trying to get things better.”
Angelia Moore followed the sermon by singing two hymns, How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace.
Though Dr. King is revered and respected today with a national holiday and widespread celebration of his life; he was largely unpopular at the time of his death. A 1966 Gallup poll found that almost two thirds of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of Dr. King.
Doing the right thing may often invoke criticism and not be in the popular opinion. We cannot revere a past civil rights hero and ignore the racism that persists today.
Mayor Al Root concluded the gathering with a quote from Dr. King’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality,” read Root.