The legacy lives on
"The legacy lives on in you and me. The struggle continues in you and me and we have to understand and come together. We should not be afraid, because the legacy lives on,"
Phillip Forney spoke those words during the Dr. Martin Luther King Day Celebration in the library auditorium at Isothermal Community College on Thursday. The Afro-American Club and the Uncommon Male Mentoring Program presented the event.
Forney, senior pastor of Wheat Creek Baptist Church in Rutherfordton and elementary school teacher, was the guest speaker. Forney talked to students, faculty and members of the public about the history of Dr. King and the civil rights movement.
"In order to have the legacy, you have to have some struggle. Dr. King was a preacher and also a leader. He encouraged us to let freedom ring from the mountains. He told us that we are all God's people and that our destiny is wrapped up in each other's destiny," Forney told the audience. "What we have to understand is that he had a dream. His dream was not about black, it was not about white, but it was about being an inclusive people in an inclusive land. This way we could all be a part of God's plan."
Forney said that African Americans had progressed because of the people who came before them and fought for their rights.
"Indeed, African Americans have progressed today because we stand on the legacy of out forefathers. You have to understand that they opened doors and we must continue that," Forney said. "All of God's people must be unified so that we can make this country even greater than it is."
Doris Crute, HRD Coordinator, opened the ceremony by leading the audience in a rendition of "Lift E'vry Voice and Sing." Student Patricia Robinson then read the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.