WINNSBORO — A handful of Winnsboro residents attended this year’s King Day at the Dome observance for the first time.
Included in that group were best friends Oliver Henry and Logan Wade, both 14. Wade and his father Sammy attend once a month at Zion Baptist Church in Columbia, which held the prayer breakfast prior to the march.
Sammy Wade was impressed by the Rev. William Barber, who spoke at the breakfast and gave the keynote speech at a statewide prayer service.
A number of clergy, members of the S.C. Christian Action Council, the president of the S.C. Education Association Jackie Hicks, and a number of choirs were in attendance as were Curtis Manzell of Prince Hall Lodge and Amy McCollough, probate judge for Richland County and Bill Lindsay, executive director for National Alliance for Mental Illness for South Carolina.
Dr. Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina NAACP gave opening remarks, as well. The focus on the event was reaching out and outreach to those in need, including the mentally ill, was a major part of the day.
As a resident of Winnsboro who works for the Glover’s Funeral Home business in the midlands, Wade was impressed with how far the cause of civil rights has advanced. He has high hopes for the next four years under President Obama, who was sworn in on MLK day for his second term.
“I look forward to seeing the President step up and start to make decisions and go against the grain a bit. (Now that he is re-elected) he can put issues on the table and really fight for them because he has nothing to lose at this point,” Wade said.
Yet for him and his son, the march and gathering went beyond politics.
“Dr. King was a man of peace and service and I hope that this is what people need to look to in celebration next year. Whether it be at Good Samaritan House or the local library, or wherever, help someone else that day,” Wade said.
That spirit of service also had an impact upon Angelia Henry, whose son Oliver is best friends with Wade’s son. In fact, it was Wade’s son who invited them to the march, something of which she was in favor.
“This year I decided that my child and I needed to do something for King Day. My son, Oliver, found it interesting to take part in the march,” Henry said.
As she came back to Fairfield County, the teller at First Citizen’s Bank said she felt inspired to do more in the community to help others in need.