Shown L to R: Mrs. Elzora Fluker, Mrs. Leola Carter, Mrs. Elberta Miles and Elder Spiver Gordon; Shown L to R: Rev. John Kennard, Rev Carlos Thornton, Rev. James Carter, Joseph Siegelman, Lorenzo French, Ruby Cain, Elder Spiver Gordon and former Governor Don Siegelman; Elder Spiver Gordon gives Certificate of Appreciation to Rev. Carlos Thornton
Sunday, April 8, 2018 a commemoration program was held at Mt. Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church in Tishabee, AL where Rev. Carlos Thornton serves as church pastor. The program, sponsored by the Alabama Civil Rights Museum, honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as the Foot Soldiers of Greene County who worked in the Civil Rights Movement.
The theme for the event, Recognizing, Observing and Remembering featured the observance of local Civil Rights leaders of Greene County from the Tishabee and Forkland communities. Elder Spiver Gordon, the President of the Alabama Civil Right Museum, presented local Foot Soldiers with certificates of recognition for their contributions in paving the way to ensure a better future.
The honorees included Rev. Marshall Anthony, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hines, Mr. Jonah Smothers, Mr. George Perry, Mr. Ed Carter, Rev. W.D. Lewis, Mrs. Eliza Carter, Mrs. Mary Eliza French, Mr. Vassie Knott, Elberta Miles Mr. and Mrs. Willie C. Carter and many more. Family members were present to accept on behalf of their deceased family member.
Gordon stated, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a predominant leader in the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination in America during the 1950s and 1960s and a leading spokesperson for nonviolent methods of achieving social change. The local Foot Soldiers followed the philosophy of Dr. King.”
On April 4, 1968, King was assassinated on the balcony outside his Memphis, Tennessee, hotel room. In a posthumously published essay titled “A Testament of Hope,” King urged African Americans to continue their commitment to nonviolence, but also cautioned that “justice for Black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.”
During the 1963 March on Washington, King declared that all people should be judged not “by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Gordon noted that these principles guided the Foot Soldiers of Tishabee and Forkland who sacrificed and took risks to bring about change. During the 1963 March on Washington, King declared that all people should be judged not “by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” The King Center in Atlanta is a living memorial to King’s vision of a free and equal world dedicated to expanding opportunity, fighting racism and ending all forms of discrimination.
Local candidate in the 2018 June Primary and November General Elections were invited to come to meet and greet the community. For Probate Judge: Rev. John Kennard and Rev. James Carter were present; Circuit Clerk candidate Veronica Morton-Jones was present; Commission Candidate, District 4, John Vester was present and Commission Candidate, District 3, Elzora C. Fluker was present. In the Sheriff’s race Lorenzo French and Beverly Spencer were present.
Also in attendance was former Governor Don Siegelman, along with his son Joseph Siegelman, who is a candidate for Attorney General. Both greeted the congregation.
Keynote speaker Senator Hank Sanders delivered greetings via phone. He stated as one of his favorite quotes: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Bro. Lorenzo French recited one of Dr. King’s speeches. Songs were rendered by Rev. Kendrick Howell, Bro. Willie Mack and Donald Young.