01/18/04 — King remembered in Freedom March

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King remembered in Freedom March

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on January 18, 2004 11:03 PM

Wayne County residents celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Saturday afternoon marching and singing down Center Street in Goldsboro.

The first Freedom March in Goldsboro was sponsored by the local NAACP branch. About 30 people gathered on the corner of Spruce Street and proceeded to march down Center Street to Mulberry Street and back down Center.

Sylvia Barnes, president of the local branch, said she and others decided to hold the march to make people more aware of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., did and show that his vision is still alive.

"It is to celebrate the legacy of the life of Dr. King," she added.

She also hopes the march will encourage more people to become active in the community and that more will participate next year. The local chapter has around 500 members, she said.

People of all ages, bundled up in their jackets and hats to stay warm in the cool weather, said an opening prayer.

They then proceeded to sing hymns while marching and enjoying the fellowship. Several participants followed behind them in a car.

One of the oldest members of Greenleaf Christian Church, Athenia Moses, 88, started to march with her daughter, Patricia, but then rode the rest of the way. She has lived in Goldsboro her entire life and was pleased that the event took place.

"I think it's a good idea," said Ms. Moses. "I hope it will be a success."

Alta Black, 12, marched with her sister, Angel, and her parents, Archie and Thelma. They said it was a good way to celebrate the holiday and they hope more people will participate each year.

"You have to start somewhere," she said.

After the march ended around 4:30 p.m., everyone gathered and held hands in a circle and Ms. Barnes led a closing prayer.

She was very pleased with the march and looks forward to next year.

"It went very well," she said.