Honoring the legacy
James sent this letter this morning, reflecting on what this day means for him and all South Carolinians:
Today, we take the time to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I’ll be attending events in Columbia, Charleston, Lexington, and Myrtle Beach and joining community members to pay tribute to his incredible legacy.
We can recognize Dr. King’s work in almost every area of American life. His advocacy of tolerance, equality, and nonviolence harnessed the momentum of the civil rights movement and inspired a generation of activists to take to the streets.
Civil rights leaders and those that came before them fought to put an end to hatred. It’s on us to continue that fight. As Dr. King said frequently, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” His words have inspired me, and that’s why when we had the chance to take down the Confederate Flag that flew above our Capitol, I led floor debate in the state House and I voted to remove it.
We must also continue to build on the legacy Dr. King left when it comes to political engagement. He was vital to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which removed many of the barriers put in place to stop African Americans from exercising their right to vote. And the following year he delivered his “March on the Ballot Boxes” speech right here in South Carolina.
Dr. King understood that voting was the key to speeding up the “day when men will have food and material necessities for their bodies, freedom and dignity for their spirits, education and culture for their minds.”
The values that Dr. King held true are ones that we need to hold true now, and every day. This is not just a weekend of honoring his legacy -- but a way of life. Thank you.
James has been traveling across the state to honor the legacy of Dr. King:
SC State Conference of NAACP Branches Wreath Laying Ceremony, Columbia, S.C.
Lexington, S.C. Improvement League Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet with Rep. Ivory Thigpen
20th Annual Portrait Awards presented by Rep. Wendell Gilliard, Charleston, S.C.
Rock Hill, S.C. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, with Rock Hill Council Member Nikita Jackson
King Day at the Dome, Columbia, S.C.
Myrtle Beach, S.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade