Following Monday morning’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parade through Downtown Fayetteville, hundreds gathered inside Sams Auditorium on the old Fayette County High School campus to continue celebrating the legacy of the American Civil Rights Movement’s beloved icon.
Keynote speaker State Representative Virgil Fludd of Tyrone called on leaders in the community to continue advancing King’s agenda of bringing about equality for everyone regardless of heritage, background or creed.
“We are still reaching for that dream,” Fludd said.
Fludd said that, according to the latest U.S. Census data, Fayette County is one of the only communities in the United States in which black people have the highest incomes on average.
Also speaking at the annual celebration was Fayetteville City Councilman Ed Johnson, a retired U.S. Navy commander, Fayette County NAACP first vice president and pastor of Flat Rock African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is said to be the county’s oldest black church.
Johnson, too, encouraged the community to further King’s work. He said Fayette County is an example of a successful work in progress.
“We are about unity in the community,” Johnson said.
Earlier in the program, Fayetteville Mayor Greg Clifton and Fayette County Commission Chairman Charles Oddo presented proclamations from their governing boards honoring the King legacy.
Clifton said he was particularly pleased to see so many churches participate in the day’s parade through Fayetteville. He parroted the words of the late Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen in calling Fayetteville “a city too busy to hate.”