Martin Luther King Jr. has been honored and recognized for his work in the civil rights movement at the First Baptist Church in Glasgow for the past 10 years.

The annual event celebrates the birthday and legacy of a man who is known to be responsible for many changes in federal legislation in the areas of public accommodations, housing, schools and transportation for black citizens throughout the country.

Nellie Buford, a member of the church, is working with the community choir that will be part of Monday’s program.

Buford said she has seen a lot of change in the event over the past decade. The crowd has steadily grown and more people have become involved.

Something new to this year’s program will be a tribute to Rosa Parks by Glasgow Attorney Walter Baker. Buford says people like Baker, and others outside of their church family, such as individuals who join in the community choir, all help to make the event bigger and better each year.

Activities at the church will begin at 1 p.m. following a noon prayer vigil on the public square.

Charles Mansfield of Glasgow said he is pleased with the turnout and the support the Glasgow program receives.

As a young boy growing up in Barren County, Mansfield can remember how things were years ago, having to go to different restrooms in the courthouse yard and having to drink from a different water fountain than white children.

Mansfield says he feels fortunate that he grew up with white children who were his best friends.

“I was raised with white children and as a young child I didn’t know a lot of difference, we just played together,” he said.

He believes children today have things much better, but says he feels they don’t often realize that fact as much as those of his generation. His generation can remember the bad things, but are now living in a time that they can see better things happening for their children and grandchildren, Mansfield said.

“It is not as easy as many children believe it is today,” he said. “They don’t see the struggle we had years ago, they hear about it, but don’t see it, they have not witnessed things as we had to.”

Mansfield believes that’s one reason programs such as the one planned Monday are important.

“We have to educate our children,” he said.


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