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Remembering King

The Danville-Boyle County chapter of the NAACP held its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at First Baptist Church Monday afternoon.

Photos by Robin Hart
Gary Johnson sings a solo with the First Baptist Church Mens Chorus as part of the celebration.

The celebration, in honor of what would have been King’s 90th birthday, began with gospel singing by the First Baptist Church Men’s Chorus and youth choir; a dance interpretation by the church’s SWAG (Soldiers Walking According to God) team; and a solo by Linda Tillman, accompanied on piano by Robert Trumbo.

The commemorative march was canceled due to the frigid temperatures and health concerns for the participants. However, NAACP chapter President Marvin Swann used the scheduled time to have Glenn Ball share his memories of hearing Dr. King preach at Zion Baptist Church in 1958 and meeting him afterward.

Dr. King “was easy to approach. He was easy to talk to,” Ball said.

He also remembered how Dr. King “was inclusive and not exclusive,” when he was teaching groups of African-Americans and white Americans how to conduct themselves during protests for equal rights. “He taught us you do not fight back,” Ball remembered. “We must work together.”

Swann then invited the audience to get up and greet each other and introduce themselves to people they didn’t know.

He said it was important for everyone to have conversations, not just there, but to continue them every day.

“We’ve got to live together. We’ve got to work together. We’ve got to play together,” Swann said.