Rally honors the legacy of King

Rally honors the legacy of King
April 12
02:00 2018

Wednesday, April 4, marked the 50th anniversary of the death of renowned civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was slain as he was in Memphis, Tennessee, to rally with sanitation workers.

To commemorate Dr. King’s legacy of championing working people’s rights, a rally was held in his honor at Winston Square Park, 310 N. Marshall St., which was followed by an ecumenical worship service held at Goler Memorial A.M. E. Zion Church.

The event was brought together by many organizations, including the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, Working America, Forsyth County Association of Educators, Winston-Salem NAACP and the Winston-Salem Urban League, to name a few.

The purpose of the event was to continue the fight for a $15 minimum wage for city workers.  King combined the struggle for civil rights and struggle for economic justice, and 50 years after his assassination, too many people in the community still can’t afford basic necessities.

Catherine Medlock-Walton of Working America said they wanted to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King while also reminding people of his fight for worker justice issues.

“There are too many city workers here in Winston-Salem fighting to make ends meet,” said Medlock-Walton.  “Currently there are 541 city workers that make under $15 an hour, which is one of the many reasons why Working America has launched a $15 an hour family wage campaign for Winston-Salem city workers.”

“We call on City Council to do what Greensboro did and pass a family wage for all city workers to $15 an hour,” she continued. 

Medlock-Walton touched on a study that was approved by the City Council that showed the poverty level in Winston-Salem is around 23 percent, which is well above the state average of 15.4 percent.  She said a raise in the minimum wage for city workers would help bring down that percentage.

At the ecumenical worship service held at Goler Memorial, Rev. Paul Robeson Ford, senior pastor of First Baptist Church on Highland Avenue, delivered the sermon last Wednesday night.  He said Dr. King was “the best man the black Baptist Church has ever produced.”

“He [King] was the greatest spokesperson on behalf of the institutional church in America,” Ford said.  “We believe it is important that we remember him not only in terms of the work that he did but also the people for which he died fighting for which we are doing in conference together.

“It is also important that we come together in a service of remembrance and renewal to remember what was the source of his inspiration and the hope that drove him on to give his life to die for the people just as Jesus did,” he continued.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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