Baker and Terry: It’s important to honor King’s legacy
Published 3:00 am Saturday, January 16, 2016
The life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be celebrated Monday around the nation. In Troy, a special service honoring King’s life and service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
The Rev. Charlie Sankey Sr. will be the guest speaker and special music will be presented by the choir.
“Everyone is invited come fellowship with us,” said Sarah Baker, organizer of the celebration event.
“We want to honor the life of Dr. King because he brought about so many changes in the lives of African-Americans. Because of him, black Americans are able to vote, to work jobs like everybody else and to go anywhere we want to go. Because of him, we have survived.”
Baker said she was born in the out in the country but moved to Troy with her family when she was seven years old.
“I didn’t work the fields like a lot of black people,” she said. “I grew up in a different way but I knew that we were not treated the same way as white people. I knew how it felt to be looked down on. But I knew that God didn’t have special people and that, in His time, he would make things better for us. Dr. King led the way.”
Baker said King advocated non-violence and he would be disturbed by the violence in today’s word.
“Dr. King wouldn’t want all the rioting and burning that goes on,” Baker said. “He was not that kind of man or that kind of leader. He would be upset. He wouldn’t want that. It doesn’t make sense.”
Times are much better for African-Americans today but not as good they should be, Baker said.
“Dr. King said the day will come and, I know that in God’s time, all changes will be made,” she said.
Charlie Terry agreed with Baker that times for African Americans are much better than when he was a young man but he said, too, that times are not as good for African-Americans as they should be.
“I’ve seen a lot of things that I don’t like to remember,” Terry said.
“There was a time when white people didn’t treat black people with respect. They could slap a black man in the face not think about it. We accepted things like that without thinking about it. “
Terry said race relations are much better today.
“About 85 percent better,” he said. “There’s a lot more respect for black people as human beings. We’re all human beings and we need to treat each other like we are.”
Terry said he is proud that he has lived long enough to see relations among all races improve.
“I don’t understand about hate but there’s a lot of it in the world. I love everybody and it seems to me that loving people is an easy thing to do,” he said.
“We don’t need to look at the ways we are different. We need to look at how we are all the same. If we pull together, we’ll all be stronger. That’s what Dr. King believed and that’s what I believe, too.”