‘A movement for citizenship’ Dr. King legacy celebrated in song, speech

Pastor David Walker, left, leads the prayer in the blessing of Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson. Photo available for purchase

Pastor David Walker, left, leads the prayer in the blessing of Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 01:42 PM.

 

The meaning of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King federal holiday was not ignored in Apalachicola Monday.

It was brought home at the Armory in the speaking of words and in the laying on of hands, the dramatic retelling of a story about freedom given birth to through religious oratory, political persuasion and other non-violent means.

The legal and social aspects of these pages in the nation’s history, particularly in the southern states within that nation, were brought forth in a historical overview delivered in the keynote speech by Dr. Isaac Neal, of Columbus , Ga. , a former Franklin County School principal in the early days of the county’s consolidation effort.

“It’s good to be home. This is home for me,” said Neal, after he and his wife were introduced by Mrs. Rosa Tolliver.

She described him as “a compassionate and sincere man,” an educator who not only earned bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, and worked for 37 years in various positions in education from custodian to district administrator, but retired as a master sergeant in the Air Force.

Neal offered a historical perspective on what he called “a movement for citizenship” for African-Americans.



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