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Area leaders pay tribute to King

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The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King waves to the crowd during the March for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963, in Washington, D.C.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Monday, January 15, 2018

In the spirit of cooperation and following the example set forth by the late Martin Luther King Jr., Nash, Edgecombe and Rocky Mount ruling bodies have signed a joint resolution recognizing the man's life work and 50th anniversary of his assassination.

King was born 89 years ago today. He was killed April 4, 1968.

At an early age he realized and responded to his calling to serve others by seeking justice and equality for all humanity by advocating for social, judicial, economical, educational and political opportunities and changes through practices, policies and procedures using a non-violent approach.

An early version of King's famous “I have a dream” speech, which epitomizes his philosophy, was delivered in Rocky Mount nine months before the monumental Washington, D.C., version changed the world in 1962.

N.C. Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash, was in attendance at the high school the day King delivered his dream speech. She said it changed her life forever.

“As I look back at Dr. King’s visit that I experienced as a 10-year-old, through a child’s eyes, it helps explain for me the courage and purpose I had as I participated in the voluntary integration of the schools the next year as the only black child in the 7th grade at Edwards,” Bryant said. “I felt like I was marching with Dr. King as I walked into that school everyday.”

The joint resolution signed by Rocky Mount Mayor David Combs, Edgecombe County board Chairman Leonard Wiggins and Nash County board Chairman Robbie Davis, states that many of the positive things in the Twin Counties are result of King's challenge to his nation.

The two county boards and City Council voted unanimously to recognize the observance of the 50th anniversary of King's death.