“Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring. Ring with the harmonies of liberty….Let us march on till victory is won.”
Those words are part of a song titled The Negro National Anthem: “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” written by James Weldon Johnson for a presentation in celebration of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.
In 1964, 101 years later, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which forbade discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as race in hiring, promoting and firing.
August 2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of the march in Washington, D.C., where Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.
At First Baptist Church in Louisa on Saturday, July 27, 138 concerned citizens came together. Master of Ceremonies for the rally was JoAnna Hickman and the keynote speaker was Reverend Kimberly Fortune, associate minister of Galilee Baptist Church in Ferncliff.
Dr. George McLaughlin and Louisa Town of Police Chief Jessie Shupe also addressed the crowd.
They also came to march. To raise awareness that justice should be equal for all people regardless of the color of their skin.
“Today we rally, we pray, we march, we protest, we boycott for the same dignity that Dr. King wanted not only for this country, but for the world,” Fortune said.
Fortune went on to say that it was time to take a hard look at the laws that govern people and that the power to change things began with each individual.
“We, the people, have to become active in who we select to run for offices,” Fortune said. “Then hold these people accountable to pursue what is legal, what is morally and ethically right and what is just.”
Greg Jones, Sr., pastor at Fluvanna Community Bible Way Church spoke of the concept of a nonviolence march and told the crowd that it was 50 years later after the march on Washington and they are still marching.
To read the entire story, see the Aug. 1 edition of The Central Virginian.