BY SAMANTHA MILLS
“We have to put action to the dream.” Those words were spoken during the keynote speech for the Martin Luther King commemorative program held Monday at the Knox County Courthouse. Rev. Louise Spencer, Pastor of Wayman Chapel A.M.E. Church, in the Boone Height community of Barbourville was the guest speaker.
A large group of people marched from Union Square Plaza Shopping Center up Knox Street in rememberance of the
life of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Following the march, they then gathered inside the district courtroom.
The march, program and luncheon were sponsored by Barbourville Women of Vision.
“Today is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and it is fitting we are gathered here today to celebrate a man who, through non-violent means, brought about change” said Spencer.
Sharon White, a well-known teacher in the community was named the Mistress of Ceremony, and president of the
Barbourville Women of Vision, welcomed the crowed and introduced Rev. David Miller, Campus Minister for Union
College, who opened the program in prayer.
After the prayer, Spencer took to the podium for her speech where she focused on segregation, and how African
Americans were treated before the civil rights movement, spearheaded by Dr. King. “Segregation was put in place to
keep people, not just black people, but to keep people of different social backgrounds, racial backgrounds, ethnic
backgrounds, religious backgrounds or a different economic background., let us go back to that time, if you will.
Restaurants owned by white people were often not open for full service to blacks. Many older blacks won’t go through the drive-through now because it is reminiscent of times when we had to go to the rear door and order food, if they were served at all. At the hospital, if the hospital actually accepted patients of color they were treated with only the minimum of care. In the south, schools were segregated. Black students were given books at school that were out of date, or with pages torn out,” said Spencer.
“We will stop on the side of the road to help a dying animal, yet we won’t stop and help someone we know is hurting and we won’t do nothing. Let’s live together, let’s work together, let’s dream together. Let’s live dreamers, and dream full-fillers,” she continued.
Those attending the program were treated to a free luncheon following the service at St. Gregory Catholic Church.