Greene County honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday holiday

The Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement held several programs this past weekend in Greene County to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the paramount civil rights and moral leader of the American Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. Had he lived this would have been his 94th birthday.

Spiver W. Gordon, President of the Greene County based museum, held several programs and a march over the weekend marking Dr. King’s actual birthday on January 15th. and the National Holiday celebration on January 16th. The theme of all three programs was ‘Same Dream – Different Strategies’.

On Sunday at 3:00 PM there was a County-wide Freedom Rally at the New Generation Baptist Church, with a sermon by Rev. Marcus Wright, Pastor of the Mt. Hebron Baptist Church of Aliceville who spoke on God’s promise to Joshua, “that I will be with you, if you are strong and of good courage”.

On Monday morning there was a Unity Breakfast at the Eutaw Activity Center featuring Rev. Kendrick Howell, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Union, who preached on the Gospel of John.

After the breakfast, a group marched uptown from the Eutaw Activity Center to the William M. Branch County Courthouse. The marchers were followed by a long line of cars with people participating but unable to walk the distance. The march was led by Gus Richardson in his wheelchair, as it has been for two decades.

At the Courthouse, a packed courtroom, took part in another Freedom Rally with Attorney John Stamps, III, of Bessemer, Alabama, giving the keynote address. Stamps stressed the importance of personal responsibility and discipline as a way forward for Black people and families.

At each of the rallies there was great music, mostly gospel songs sung by the choirs with strong support and rhythmic clapping from the rally participants. On Sunday, there was section to memorialize the community leaders and foot soldiers, who contributed to change in the county but have passed on in the past year. Family members of the remembered were given a chance to speak and recall the lives of their loved ones.

At each of the programs, Spiver Gordon gave out numerous awards to participants for their service, great and small, to the civil rights movement and struggles in the county over the years.

At the Unity Breakfast, Dr. Carol P. Zippert, former school board member and Co-Publisher of the Democrat in addressing the occasion of the MLK celebration said, “We, we are the occasion, it is up to us to continue the movement Dr. King led and make a commitment to service and helping others, especially our children.”

People interested in learning more and supporting the Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement, can contact Spiver W. Gordon at or call 205-372-3446.