Young students and Legacy Mentees formed nucleus of the Dr. M.L.K., Jr. Walk

By CONSTANCE SLAUGHTER-HARVEY,

Our community is saddened by the death of college student Ebony Holifield who transitioned Tuesday, January 14th following an automobile accident. Memorial services will be held Saturday, January 25th at 2:00 p.m. at Murray Temple ReBirth. Our prayers are with her family.

A beautiful Celebration of Life for Mr. Jerry Lavern Harper was held Saturday, January 18th at New Bethel M. B. Church.  Rev. Sheldon Thomas officiated and delivered the eulogy. Ms. Charlene Youngblood was the mistress of ceremony. Program participants were Rev. Billy Ray Lyles, Eddie Harkless, Curtis Taylor, John Anderson, William Sabres, and Ms. Arin Harper. The New Bethel Church Choir provided beautiful music. Our prayers continue to be with his family including his son Jeremy (Tina) and stepson Douglas (Katrina) McLaurin; granddaughters Nova Larice and Precious Harper; and siblings Clara Jaynes, Delores Sabree, Artis Ray, Charles, and Gerald. Please remember his family in your prayers.

We are sorry to learn of the death of Mrs. Josephine Chambliss, wife of Alvin Chambliss, Ayers v. State lead attorney.  Please keep her family in your prayers

Our prayers are with the family of former Hinds County Judge Houston (Jack) Patton who transitioned Monday, January 13th. Our prayers are with his family, especially his widow, Mrs. Johnnie Pearl Patton, and children.

A beautiful memorial and home going was held for Mr. Oliver Moore Saturday, January 18th at Galilee M. B. Church with Rev. Lee N. Crosby officiating and delivering Mr. Moore’s eulogy.  Mrs. Elaine Robinson was the mistress of order and other participants included his nephew Rev. Johnny Ray Sims, Rev. Bobbitt and Rev. McAfee, the Solomon Union Singers (he was one of the original founders), and a choir composed of his children and grandchildren. His favorite songs were performed, namely, “If I could Count my Blessings,” and “Walking on New Ground.” It was a beautiful home going and our prayers continue to be with his children.

A record number of youth and student walkers participated in the 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk sponsored by Legacy Education and Community Empowerment Foundation and Slaughter Memorial Foundation. Mrs. Dorothy Strong was the Walk Marshal and she was accompanied by her friend Mrs. Bobbie Carter. Sister Eileen Hauswald and Rev. James Watkins provide prayers at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and 7th Avenue and at the Courthouse.  Following the four mile Walk, the walkers returned to the Slaughter Library — Legacy Building area where an official program was held. Candles were lit in recognition of the spirit of Dr. King and others and youth assisted in this effort. Among those speaking were Andrew Crudup, Alderwomen Cynthia Melton and Yolanda White, Tom Wilson, Bobby Joe Lay, Rufus Ringo, Manorris Odom, Rev. Watkins, Bobbie Carter, and Robbie Moore. Walk Marshal Dorothy Strong thanked walkers and expressed appreciation to all with a special thanks to the young people who braved the entire four-mile journey.  One of the original Walk Marshals, 88 year old Mrs. Martha Reed, also expressed appreciation to all walkers. More than 15 young Legacy mentees shared their love and respect for Dr. King and his contribution and his impact on their lives.  Their names will be shared in next week’s column. Young James “Tre” Burwell, who has participated in the Walk for eight out of his nine years,  was ill and unable to attend.  Special thanks will be expressed in next week’s column. Manorris Odom closed out the program with a prayer. 

Several of the previous Walk Marshals, Mrs. Martha Reed, and Mesdames Ester Perry and Susie Boyd, were present. Former Walk Marshals are Barbara Ormond, Ester Perry, Martha Reed, Rita Johnson, Susie Boyd, Rev. Willie Thigpen, Earnest Love, Eddie Graffee, Paul Hughes, Revs. Joe Dyer, Ludrick Cameron and Henry Patrick, Donny and Ronny Barrett, Charles Warnsley, Forest Public Works Sanitation Department Staff/Employees, Jerry Smith, Robert and Martha Kincaid, Coach DaTodrick Pinkston, Girl Scout Troop #3205, and Dr. Sheldon Graves.

Local elected officials attended the 89th MML Midwinter Conference held January 14-16 at the Hilton Jackson. Officials attending the Conference were Forest Mayor Nancy Chambers, Alderwomen Cynthia Melton and Yolanda White, and Aldermen Harry Robinson and Matt Alford; and Morton Mayor Gerald Keeton and Alderwomen Oneida Laster and Marie Washington. Some officials also attended the MBCLEO. The Conference theme was “Vision 2020 — Success in Sight.” Upcoming MML Conferences will be held in Hattiesburg (2/28-9) and in Biloxi (6/29-7/1/2020).  

James “Tre’” Burwell and his grandmother enjoyed the Harlem Globetrotters during their Mississippi Show at the MS Coliseum Wednesday, January 15th.  It was an entertaining basketball performance as Globie, Big Easy Lofton and Too Tall Winston led them to victory. 

Congratulations to Mrs. Irene Ward Lyles who celebrated her 75th birthday January 19th at Green Tree in Lake.  This celebration was a surprise sponsored by her grandchildren, Justin and Von.  Happy birthday Mrs. Lyles.

Constance Slaughter-Harvey was guest speaker for the UNCF Banquet held Friday, January 17th at the Nancy Hogarth Center - MS University for Women.  She addressed the UNCF’s slogan, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” While there, she was greeted by relatives of Mr. Malone Hughes of Forest who sent their regards.

Our readers are invited to share in the celebration for Rev. and Mrs. Sheldon (Regina) Thomas as the Little Rock M. B. Family honor them at their 10th Year Anniversary. The Celebration “2020 New Mind, New Me” will be held Sunday, January 26th at 10:30 a.m. Rev. John T. Evans will deliver the morning message and Rev. Bobby Viverette will deliver the afternoon message at 12:30. Our readers are invited to attend this celebration. Congratulations Rev. and Mrs. Sheldon (Regina) Thomas!

Answer to Quiz Teaser MLK #559. Mr. Willie Lee Horton, Hawkins High School (1963) and Tougaloo College (1967) graduate is an outstanding orator who studied the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and memorized many of his speeches, including “I Have A Dream” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” He previously worked as planner for the Governor’s Office and the Hattiesburg Planning Commission.

QUIZ TEASER MLK # 55 --- Which college opened its doors to Dr. King and others who advocated “non-violence” as a means to accomplish basic rights for all Americans and Mississippians with special emphasis on voting?