Mt. Joy Church Takes Time to Reflect on MLK

Cassi Reaka, Life Editor

With the third Monday of every January comes a day of remembrance, a day dedicated to a man who changed the face of the civil rights movement and America forever: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mt. Joy Missionary Baptist Church held its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Holiday Program on Jan. 20. The church celebrated King’s life through prayer, music and a speech given by Deserea Howard, an accomplished member of the community.

Senior Marcia Williams introduced Howard and said that Howard is “someone I look up to.”

The overall theme of Howard’s speech was that Dr. King’s work is not done, and though it’s important to reflect on the past, we must continue to push forward to make change.

Howard talked about the importance of setting good examples for young people.

“Most schools are filled with Caucasian educators and administrators, and African American janitors, security guards and teacher aids…,” Howard said. “I have a dream that little black boys and girls can begin to see people that look like them in positions of power and high esteem.

“There is also something that may be even more important than black students having black teachers, and that is white students having black teachers.”

She also said that she feels social media has had a negative influence on the “youth,” because of influencers who may participate in inappropriate activities. This is why she believes it is more crucial than ever for children, both white and black, to have African American role models.

Howard compared the entire work of the civil rights movement to the passing of the Olympic torch. She reflected on her time as a child watching the Olympic Games, dreaming of one day being a part of them.

The torch requires the work of multiple people to successfully arrive at its destination. It cannot be carried alone just as the movement can’t be carried out by just one person.

“When I think back to Dr. Martin Luther King standing at the Lincoln Memorial to give his speech, I can’t help but to imagine him carrying a big torch,” Howard said. “Today, if only for just 15 minutes, it was passed to me.”

During the event, the church was filled with many of its regular members as well as other important members of the community such as judges, teachers, administrators and even superintendent Jason Henderson.

“It is important for the community to come together to honor the legacy of Dr. King,” Dr. Henderson said. “We all need to play a part moving forward to help Dr. King’s dream become realized.”