Newberry leaders discuss legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Columbia, SC (WOLO) —As celebrations to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. happen around the Midlands, Newberry leaders discuss the impact the MLK National Holiday provides.
Reverend and Dr. Lerone Wilder, Assistant Professor of Religion at Newberry College, specializes in MLK studies and teaches a course about Dr. King’s life.
“He was an extraordinary individual. One who counted the cost of what it meant to fulfill the calling on his life,” says Wilder.
According to Wilder, Dr. King was invested in digging into the soul of the nation and says he hopes that people not only celebrate the MLK National Holiday, but contemplate what Dr. King stood for as well.
“And what we profess on paper — are we actually living up to that with the policies that were passing? Are we living up to that in how we see and treat one another?” Wilder asks.
Just down from Newberry College at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Newberry County Councilmember Travis Reeder, after the church’s annual MLK service.
“As the theme is, ‘It’s a day on, not a day off.’ We want people to not relax and just take a day off, we want them to do something that’s capable of saying ‘I worked for Dr. King because of the vision he had,” says Reeder.
Newberry City Councilmember Carlton Kinard says he and Reeder hope to continue providing ways for young people to further Dr. King’s legacy as well.
“We want to make sure that we make that same opportunity for our young people today. Ensure that they have a voice and they can lead as well, just make sure that we continue to stick together because were stronger when we’re together,” says Kinard.
Reverend Wilder also believes we all need to be willing to have courageous conversations with each other, saying, “It’s not to push people away, it’s to bring people together. Because there’s a shared humanity that we all have. And until we discover that and find that, then we’re gonna continue to wrestle with the same issues. And it won’t go away anytime soon.”