Group brings community together for MLK holiday
By MARTIN RAND III The Brunswick News
Calvin Waye of Glynn County is striving to keep the memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. alive in the minds of the community.
He wants the community to remember him not just as the iconic man who became the face and voice of black Americans in the 1960s, but also for the vision he had, and often stated, for the entire world.
Waye, chair of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee, is taking a page out of King's book and preaching unity among the community as the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches.
On Monday, the nation will observe the birthday of the slain civil rights leader.
Part of Brunswick's celebration will be the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Howard Coffin Park and end at Mary Ross Park.
Waye wants to use the event to try to bring all races and nationalities of the community together.
"We're just trying to get unity with everyone. That's a struggle, but we got to keep working on it all the time," he said. "We still struggle with different portions of the community getting together. We want to pull people together of all cultures."
The struggle for equality is something Waye knows all too well. The 80-year-old grew up in Glynn County and experienced racial injustices first hand.
Things are better today, but he says there are still areas where improvement is needed.
The parade, which will feature hundreds of people marching together as King and his supporters once did, will help bring people closer together, he said.
A rally is scheduled at Selden Park at the conclusion of the parade.
Kicking off the weekend of festivities is the Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast, which is free, says Tres Hamilton, executive director of the Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority.
"We bring in all races, nationalities. It's not just for the African-American community," she said. "It's for the Glynn County community and surrounding communities to come together."
On top of unification, Hamilton believes King's message of economic equality - not just social equality - should not be forgotten.
"If we are able to help people become stable... then they're able to be able to go on and become productive citizens," said Hamilton. "That's what Dr. King talked about. It has to do with everyone getting the opportunity for everyone to provide for themselves and their families."
The breakfast will take place at 1 Community Action Drive beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday.
Waye believes discussing topics King preached about and fought more than 50 years ago over a hot meal could go a long way to help unify the community.
"A lot of people may not go to the parade, but the breakfast is a good way to still come together," he said.
* Reporter Martin Rand III covers local news. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook, or at 265-8320, ext. 324.