By Joy Brashears
and Ayesha K. Mustafaa
Special to The Mississippi Link
On Thursday, Feb. 28, New Hope Baptist Church culminated its month long celebration of Black History month, themed “Back in the Day,” with a tribute to Medgar Wiley Evers. Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams also was honored. Dr. Tonya Moore, the niece of Medgar, was the moderator.
Giving remarks were Medgar’s daughter Reena Evers-Everette and his brother Charles Evers. The children of New Hope brightened the program with their lively performances, including the song “Kum Ba Yah.”
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Goodloe Jr. gave the invocation. They shared an interesting story of why Edward’s mother, Flonzie Wright, event coordinator and a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, sued Lake Hico Park in Jackson when her son was not allowed to play basketball there with his white friends. Co-coordinator was Deacon Jim Adams.
The program’s focus was “to continue the celebration of the accomplishments of our forefathers and foremothers.” Pointing to three outstanding women leaders in the movement – Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray Adams and Annie Divine – the program coordinators believe that “President Barack H. Obama was envisioned” because of people like these women.
Adams and Wright pointed out that “all of these women had been jailed, beaten and threatened as they became the voice for those who had no voice and faced more violence for standing up.” Why do they continue
to celebrate? “Because every African American elected official in Mississippi beginning in 1967 … stand on the shoulders and backs of this awesome trio.”
Each program booklet throughout the month gave “tid-bits” of African American inventors – from Granville T. Woods’ invention of the automatic cut-off switch, Garrett Morgan’s invention of the traffic signal to William Purvis’ invention of the fountain pen.