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Continuing a legacy

MOLLIE F. BELT | 1/26/2015, 11:43 a.m.
Monday was the 29th year of the Elite News Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade and Festival in Dallas. It ...
Mollie Finch Belt, publisher of The Dallas Examiner

The play is produced by Will Power and directed by Derrick Sanders.

Following was a panel discussion that included Willie Pearl Mackey King who worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and assisted in transcribing King’s letter from scratches smuggled by his attorney. She explained very vividly the fear that people in Birmingham had of Eugene “Bull” Connor. She recalled how King often reminded them prior to going on trips that they may be murdered and gave them an opportunity not to go on trips. She said no one ever decided not to go.

Other panelists were Dr. Derrick Evans and Will Power. Sanders noted that not all Negroes were supportive of the Civil Rights Movement in discussing A.G. Gaston’s role in the play. Gaston was a Black millionaire in Birmingham. This reminds us that a group of Black pastors in Dallas met King at the airport and told him he was not welcomed in Dallas and to leave – which he did. Rieder and Norton also sat on the panel.

Hopefully, if you missed the play, it will be presented again in Dallas. If so, don’t miss it.

In the meantime, Norton will present another play, Mississippi Goddamn, in February and March at the South Dallas Cultural Center. It is based on struggles within families and the communities of Jackson, Mississippi, leading up to the assassination of Medgar Evers in 1963.

Plays such as these are just as important as those that display the achievements of African Americans. It is in the revelation of the struggles and losses that we truly learn the value of our accomplishments.

Join the conversation. Send your letters to mbelt@dallasexaminer.com.