‘Let freedom ring’

Published 11:55 am Thursday, January 18, 2018

More than 225 people attended the 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration on Saturday at Prince Edward County Middle School. The event was sponsored by the Southside VA Virginia State University Alumni Association and, according to the organization’s president Kylor Reed, may have been the largest crowd the event has seen.

To view more photos of the event, click here.

The event included singing by Torrie Patterson and keynote speaker Dr. Wendy Lyle-Jones, who earned her graduate and doctorate degrees from Virginia State University (VSU).

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Lyle-Jones spoke about the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“He had given his life for the struggle,” Lyle-Jones said during her speech. “… And just like Moses from the bible, he could envision his people being free.”

She said King dreamed of an America where all of God’s children will be able to sing “My Country, Tis’ of Thee” with a new meaning.

“The seed has been planted. The seed has been watered,” Lyle-Jones said regarding equality and social justice. “… More than ever before we must combat this racism … this sexism that is on full display in the White House.”

Reed said Lyle-Jones’ speech was very emotional.

“Many people in the audience were moved to tears,” Reed said. “… She emphasized (that) the struggle continues.”

He said the organization holds the commemoration annually as a community service and to help generate funds to VSU in the form of giving scholarships in order to support the school.