/Civil Rights leaders, politicians tour museum, say the work continues

Civil Rights leaders, politicians tour museum, say the work continues

“To walk through this museum and see Medgar(Evers), Fannie Lou Hamer, and other that I’ve spent some time with, and the way people suffered…people took me into their homes, into the churches, they believed,” the Georgia congressman said to a packed room during Saturday morning’s discussion. “So thank you.” Lewis was joined by U.S. Reps. Bennie and Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Mississippi Rep. Sonya Wilkes-Barnes and U.S. Senator Cory Booker for a panel discussion celebrating the museum. Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights organized the celebration that began Friday night with a gala at which Lewis and other leaders of this movement were recognized for their efforts. After Gov. Phil Bryant invited President Donald Trump. Even though no one addressed President Trump directly, there were many who expressed dismay at the new administration. Derrick Johnson, President of NAACP, stated that the museum was not an opportunity for Trump to use our history and sacrifices for political gain. He said that citizens’ votes are the currency of democracy and that people must use their vote wisely to effect change. Johnson stated that these are the most crucial times in American history. “If we don’t use it properly, America in 1960 will be Mississippi.” Richmond acknowledged the fact that progress has been made but stated that the administration was ignorant of the struggles and the progress of African Americans. Williams-Barnes took advantage of her time on the podium to advocate for women. In recent years, the Gulfport Democrat has actively pushed to have equal pay bills and the removal the state flag. She reminded the crowd at the event that women in the civil rights movement were often not given the credit they deserve. She stated that efforts to lead the movement were often eclipsed by men who continue to get more attention and credit for its success in popular historical narratives . Williams-Barnes and others warned the crowd that the progress made since the Civil Rights movement doesn’t mean that one should be complacent. She said that people must remain focused on creating a better tomorrow. She said, “We cannot allow elected officials, from local to the White House, disrespect, ignore, and take for granted our power.” Men, don’t you believe that you have the God given power to make decisions regarding our health, our bodies, or our employment?” During the discussion, the featured speakers and the audience joined hands to sing “Lift Every Voice, Sing” and then clapped during “This Little Light of Mine,” a song that was a major part of the central display of the civil right museum. Booker made a passionate speech, urging people to not only tolerate but love one another. Booker reminded them that Saturday’s event was being held to honor those who have fought, suffered, and shattered for future generations. He said, “History shouldn’t be something you ponder or think about. It should spark something inside of you.” Lewis said that history should require that you make a commitment. Lewis stated, “As long I have breath in me I will speak up and speak out and I will find a means to get in the path and get into trouble.” “Good trouble, necessary troubles.”_x000D