Davie remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Published 11:10 am Thursday, January 24, 2019

The first African slaves were brought to what is now the United States some 400 years ago.

Don’t forget that.

And don’t forget all of the struggles people of color have seen here during that time.

That was the message from the Rev. Reginald M. Keitt, guest speaker at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration Monday, sponsored by the Davie NAACP at Shiloh Baptist Church.

“There is something critical about knowing your history,” Keitt said, basing his speech on John 8, and Abraham, the Jews and Pharisees – who had forgotten their people had been enslaved. “Thank God for the gift of memory. They forgot where they came from, who they were.”

Keitt said it was great to be able to meet and discuss King’s legacy. A native of Forest City, he said “It ain’t always been like this. Don’t ever forget. Remember where God brought you from.

“You ain’t always been able to do whatever you wanted to do. Walk down memory lane. We came over as slaves and look where the Lord has brought us. Look back to where you was, and give God the praise.”

But the race continues, he said. Too many young black men are in prison, and atrocities against the race continue to this day.

“We haven’t arrived.”

People shouldn’t be color blind when it comes to race, he sadi. “I want you to see my color, because if you see my color, you can see my history.”

He called the NAACP the “oldest and boldest” civil rights organization in the nation, and urged people to vote. “I don’t understand why black folk don’t vote. Look at your history. The price has been paid to give us the right to vote. How dare you stay home. If you con’t use memory, you don’t know the way of the path to where you are headed.”

Jenny Stevenson talked about that first slave ship that headed to our shores some 400 years ago, with only 20 alive out of hundreds who started the journey.

“Understand the brutal conditions … we want to pay homage to these ancestors.”

The day included prayers by the Revs. Tamica Robinson and Coker Stewart, and music by the Community Youth Choir and clarinetist Taylor Threadgill.