Why it still matters

Reverend+Dr.+Martin+Luther+King+Jr.+was+born+January+15%2C+1929.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born January 15, 1929.

by Alina Weismann | Staff Writer

This year, PC hosted a convocation celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As he introduced the convocation, Dr. Booker T. Ingram of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion reminded the audience of King’s belief that one should judge a person by the context of their character, not by their colour of skin, national origin, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

Ingram was followed by Zoe Montague and Tobias Hagins who recited Old and New Testament scripture in order to emphasise the way the bible and faith was a large part of King’s journey.

Dr. Brian Johnson, the former president of Tuskegee University, was the featured speaker at the convocation. He spoke about those core beliefs and the impact of “a person using his head, heart and hands.” Johnson emphasized King’s character of consistency, by stating that King had to fight through his low points, like his long and challenging journey to achieve voting and civil rights in ‘64 and ‘65, and how he sustained doing this by holding on to his faith and beliefs which he had held since he started fighting in 1955.

Johnson portrayed how King articulated rational and moral justification for his view and endorsement of civil disobedience and nonviolent-protest.

Johnson also showed the achievements of King, like the success of Montgomery bus boycott and his achievements in civil rights. By succeeding in these foundational steps toward a better future, King succeeded in becoming not only a national hero, but a world historical figure.

This important message is not only relevant in the past, but in the future as well, as presented by Jenius Duncan and Tiffany Kene, who performed Langston Hughes poem “Let America be America Again.” These two students presented this poem like play of theater, by splitting the poem into parts and reading it as if it were a conversation between two people. They were supported by Miriam Ragland, the Professor of Theater and Visual Arts.

All this work by all combined teams was to uphold the values of King who recognised the importance of faith and qualities that define a good and virtues person. King understood that faith was important for the development of one’s character, for it uphold one’s moral, ethic beliefs that should shape one’s behavior, thinking and action.

The final performance of the evening was by the President of the Freshman Class of the Laurens District High School #55 and lead singer Jermarius Evans, who wished Martin Luther King, with his Laurens county community choir “the Tumbling Shoals Baptist Associations Choir” under the direction of Ms. Carla Jones, who attended PC from 1986-89, a very Happy Birthday.