MLK program hailed as glorious event
Houston County Courier - January 2010
By Roberta Mason
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Committee held its 32nd Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program on Sunday, Jan. 17. The annual event was a glorious occasion.
The Crockett Alternative School Auditorium was packed with enthusiasm believers of the “Dream” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The speaker was the re
nowned Art Hall, of San Antonio. Hall, among other achievements, was the 2008 Texas Railroad Commissioner candidate.
Those attending made a donation tot he relief effort in Haiti. A total of $150 was collected.
Hall is a graduate of Harvard University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Wales at Aberystwyth.
In the tradition of all the MLK speakers that have appeared here, he had an incredible message. He spoke on the Kings With Crowns and Dings Without Crowns.
First the Houston county native son identified his roots in Houston County. Then he presented so me background information on himself.
During his junior year at Harvard he did his internship in Ecuador. There, for the first time he saw first hand, “throwaway” children.
These are children 3-4 years old that live on the streets. Their parents have abandoned them. No adult is assuming responsibility for their growth and development. These children are living without adult supervision for their very lives.
He told very sad stories about his experiences in observing these children.
Then he moved on to our respoonsibility as inheritance of the “Dream.” He stated statistics about the number of people that vote in elections. He said people should vote to show their gratitude for the sacrifice that Dr. King made.
His children grew up without a father, and his wife lived her entire life without a husband because Dr. King gave up his life, so people could enjoy the privileges that they now take for granted.
One of the ways to express gratitude is to vote on election day.
He closed by quoting Dr. King’s last public speech, “The I have been to the Mountaintop” speech. He said when he was a youth; the speech was playing on the radio. His father stopped to listen to the speech he had heard countless times. He saw a tear running down his father’s cheek.
He knew this was a major speech.
Dr. King instinctively knew he was going to die.
Hall received a standing ovation and thunderous applause for his speech.
Miss Mason, founder and chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Committee presented Hall a plaque.
Hall was the fourth speaker in a series of Houston County Native Sons to speak at the program.
Dr. James Wilson, the son of the late Bessie Ball Wilson and the nephew of Lois and Floyd Ball was the first to speak in 2007.
In 2008 Dr. Nelson Daniels, the son of Mae Belle Daniels and the late Bill Daniels spoke.
Last year, Donald Ards, the brother of community leaders Cather Ards Woods and Pearle Fobbs spoke.
The MLK committee e said they were pleased to bring home native sons to speak at the special program.
Other participants on the program included the Reverend Bill Reece of the Bethanna Baptist Church of Flynn as master of ceremonies.
Verna Harris, pianist, played both the national Anthem and the Negro National Anthem.
C.J. Wheeler, a sophomore at Crockett High School, led the pledge to the flag.
The Reverend Earl Harris gave the invocation. Houston County judge Lonnie Hunt welcomed the assembled and introduced county officials.
Greetings were brought by District Attorney Donna Kaspar, County Clerk Bridget Lamb, County Court at Law Judge Sarah Clark, and county Attorney Daphne Session.
Della Newman introduced the committee, Miss mason led the litany and Brittany Colter, a junior at Crockett High School, sang “Falling in Love With Jesus is the Best Thing I Ever Did” and Darius Kitchen introduced his longtime friend Hall.
The program ended with the prayer of dedication by Reverend Jim T. Ainsworth.
The hostesses were Sheryl McKnight Bean, Patricia Gipson and Bobbie Hickman.
The MLK committee was glad to see the United States flags placed around the courthouse square and businesses to observe the national holiday.