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Dr. King’s message still important today

How have White supremist groups been able to grow in the United States?

It’s because individuals – white and black – have allowed it to happen.

Dannie Montgomery, speaking virtually during the Davie NAACP the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, said those words, urging those listening in to keep up King’s non-violent message of equality and justice for all.

“After so many killings, it has been put on the front page of history,” she said of the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police. “All of America of good conscious stood up and said enough is enough. People in leadership roles … try to keep people in poverty.

“Dr. King was a man of justic. He gave his life for justice. Those things that were important to him are stil important to us today,” she said.

America had been moving forward before Donald Trump was elected, she said.

“They tried to say that black folks don’t count and their votes are illegitimate and they must not be allowed to elect a president. They were not successful, but are still trying to figure out how to keep us from moving forward.”

The voting box – local and national – is the way to foster change, she said. “We have to be careful who we elect and we must hold everybody accountable. If we don’t hold individuals accountable, they won’t do their jobs. The words that come out of our mouths are important and they have power.”

Montgomery said the one place that isn’t suffering now is the church. She compared King to Moses, who didn’t make it to the Promised Land, but could see it.

“Don’t allow evil to win by sitting on the stools of nothing. It’s going to take all of us working together. Communities must work together. It’s time we rebuild the African-American community.”

Hope is still alive, she said.

“We must make sure that everyone is educated and can find a job. You are important. We are all important, and we all have a responsibility to this society. We have power and we have infinite hope.”

She urged those listening to have conversations with people of different races and backgrounds, so all can understand the other’s point of view.

The day started with a vehicle caravan that paraded through Mocksville neighborhoods.

The virtual program was emceed by Priscilla Williams.

“We have come to lift up your appointed one, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said the Rev. Sylvia Perry during the opening prayer. “Prayer forms the dark yesterdays into brighter tomorrows. We pray for peace and brotherly love.”

There was music, and Elon law student Ayallah Bank read an affirmation of faith based on King’s writings. “We need to discover a way to live with one another in peace,” she said. “The foundation of this is love.”

Davie NAACP President the Rev. Joe Clark also gave remarks.