Remembering Martin Luther King Day

Published 10:05 am Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lola Ervin, Pamela and Kayla Brown gather around an old style ballot box at the Lowndes County Interpretive Center in White Hall on Jan. 21 and marvel at the fact that 50 years later it was both inauguration day for the first black president and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Monday, Jan. 21 was a unique day in history as Barack Hussein Obama was publicly sworn into his second term of office as the 44th President of the United States and the nation celebrated the birthday of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Pamela Brown of Montgomery brought her mother, Lola Ervin of Prichard, and her own daughter, Kayla Brown of Mobile, to the Lowndes County Interpretive Center in White Hall.

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“Well, I think it’s just a tremendous contribution and recollection of our history, actual events that occurred, memories, though painful as they were, but just a great opportunity to remind us all of how far we’ve come and how great this country is,” Pamela Brown said of the uniqueness of the day and where they were.

“Who could have planned that,” Brown said. “ I don’t think that’s just ironic. I think it’s divine intervention. Nothing is happenstance. Nothing happens by chance.”

Brown thought out loud, “I wonder what (Dr.) Martin Luther King (Jr.) would have thought. I wonder what the Kennedys would have thought if they could have foreseen these two events falling on the same day.”

She said it’s been an exciting time. “And we wanted to share some of that. I wanted my mother to be a part of this and to see some things he didn’t get to participate in, in her youth.”

Her mother, Lola Ervin, was impressed with the center. “Well, I think it is wonderful because everybody needs to get a chance to see this and learn their history,” she said. “And it’s been 50 years, but to me it seems like yesterday.

She said there were marches in Prichard and Mobile, “But it was nothing like what went on here and Montgomery.”

Kayla Brown also felt the need to learn the history of the Civil Rights era.

“Everybody should come here,” she said, “I believe it’s a wonderful experience, especially for me. I’m 23 years old. Of course I wasn’t there back then, but just to know what happened… I believe this center is very important and it’s very wonderful to be here today just to see it.”