MLK Noon Hour Commemoration celebrates its 37th year

The newly freed Kalvin Michael Smith is over-come with emotion as Bishop Todd Fulton speaks about his wrongful conviction at the Noon Hour Commemoration.

MLK Noon Hour Commemoration celebrates its 37th year
January 19
05:30 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Noon Hour Commemoration has been a staple in the Winston-Salem community for nearly four decades.  The theme for this year’s event was “When evil men plot, good men must plan…”

Event coordinator Mutter D. Evans says she put the first commemoration together in just two days.  She says she wanted to put together a public celebration for Dr. King because there were none being done in the city at the time.  Her initial program brought out over 100 people and the event has grown from there.

“The biggest pleasure is 37 years later people are still coming despite there being many things that are going on in lots of places,” said Evans.  “But hundreds still come to this program and I’d like to think that is because we have given and continue to give substance so when people come they may not know the details but when they leave they are going to feel that they have been spiritually, educationally and morally fed.”

During the event Ms. Joycelyn V. Johnson was celebrated as the “Dare to Make a Difference” honoree.  There was also a special tribute to President and Mrs. Barack H. Obama.

“We try and identify the people in the community who are involved, doing positive things and who have something to say that others may not have heard,” Evans continued. “The challenge every year is, what is the state of affairs and what do people need to hear, what do they need to be challenged with and what do they need to be reminded of.”

Bishop Todd Fulton, Pastor of Mt. Moriah Outreach Center in Kernersville, was the keynote speaker for the event.  Fulton touched on the struggle of the civil rights movement and how blacks “did not allow evil men to stop them.”  His theme for his message was “What’s the plan?”  He says African-Americans cannot be discouraged because of the president-elect because we have been in worse situations in the past.

Fulton laid out three points on how he feels the African-American community can move forward with a plan which centered on education, economy/politics and empowerment.  He says we don’t need to beg others but instead become more self-empowered as a community.  Fulton also acknowledged the newly freed Kalvin Michael Smith who was in attendance.  He says we need to continue the fight for Smith to exonerate him.

“We have to learn to help ourselves and it’s important because people want to see Winston-Salem be better,” Fulton continued. “When we come together like this it gives us the opportunity to convey the message and organize.” “Our next move as a community is to organize ourselves and once we organize ourselves come up with an agenda as far as what we want from politicians, what we want locally, what we want statewide and even what we want from congress and our president. We also need to use our money and spending power as consumers, compiling that together so we can put demands on companies and businesses and say if you don’t support us we won’t support you.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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