‘A Day On’ in Russellville
Monday was “A Day On: Not A Day Off” for hundreds of Franklin, Colbert and Lauderdale counties’ citizens. Annual MLK events were held in Russellville this year, including a symbolic march and a program at the A.W. Todd Centre.
The community was invited to join event organizers in a peaceful march from the Chucky Mullins Center midday Monday. Marchers of all ages toted banners and balloons as they sang and chanted their way through the streets of Russellville to the Franklin County Courthouse.
An impassioned prayer followed, and participants reconvened at the A.W. Todd Centre for lunch and a special program.
Speakers included Tharptown High School language arts teacher Maletha Walker, who spoke particularly to the youth in the audience about what it means to plan for the future.
“‘Plan’ stands for ‘Persevere, Listen, Ask and Notice,’” she said. “You might have some failures, but you need to be able to pick yourself up and try, try, try again.”
Keynote speaker was civil rights activist and former Gadsden Councilman Robert Avery, who discussed how important it is to get involved and emphasized the year’s theme – “A Day On: Not A Day Off.”
“If you decide not to take the day off and to have a day on, let’s see what can happen,” he said. “If one person in one house decides to take a day on, (they) can influence that house. Then, the house can possibly influence that whole block. Then, if you can get the block to influence the whole community, the community can influence the city. The city can make things happen in our county. The county then influences the state; the state influences the nation; and the nation influences the world … all because one person decided to take a day on.”
Organizer BJ Bonner, who is pastor at First Missionary Baptist Church College Avenue in Russellville, said he hoped the program would mean something to people.
“It’s something that can be used to bring people together and help people to understand: no one has to fear the culture of another,” he said. “We are more alike than what people would ever realize.”
FCT staff writer Tyler Hargett contributed to this report.