Friday, January 23, 2009

Woolworth Sit-in Participant Challenges All to “Get on the bus”

David Carson, Gwen Mason, Mayor Bowers, Darlene Burcham

Referring to attendees who planned to “get on the bus” Tuesday to witness the inauguration of the 44th President Barack Obama, Franklin E. McCain challenged all to not let this be the last time that “you get on the bus.”
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McCain was one of the original four of the 1960 Woolworth sit-in participants in Greensboro, North Carolina. McCain was guest speaker at the 12th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration and breakfast presented by the Roanoke Valley Chapter of North Carolina A&T State University Alumni Association Monday morning.
McCain encouraged participation in every aspect of decision-making affecting their lives ranging from school board meetings to zoning decisions. He paralleled active participation to dates on a “tombstone” saying that “you have no say” on the birth or death date on your tombstone but you do have control of the “dash” in between. He asserted that a “scrawny dash” surmises that “you did not get on the bus.” McCain closed his remarks by saying that a “big long thick dash” proclaims to all that you have done all you can in this life to further justice.
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During the celebration attendees who included the mayor and members of Roanoke City Council were entertained by violin duets by Nikita and Karina Espinal, student of the Friends of the Roanoke Symphony. The reaction to their perfect performance received a standing ovation.
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The Pilgrim Baptist Church Angelic Voices energized the over 500 attendees as the projection screen displayed both a picture of President Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Local Events

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