TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As the country celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, his legacy and the example he set continues to be on display.
With hopes of creating change around the nation, local African American leaders say it starts at home.
“It’s a good thing young people are taking a stance because this is their country too. This is their life and this is their future,” said Terre Haute NAACP president Sylvester Edwards. “They’re seeing what we adult, the older generation have allowed our country to become and they don’t like it.”
Though Dr. King’s birthday is on January 15th, the holiday is celebrated every third Monday of January. As a civil right’s leader he believed the best way to gain those rights was through non-violence.
Many groups in the area have used these methods to drive home issues they believe are important such as police reform.
“Young people are starting to understand this. How can we get to the next level? We get to the next level with all us getting there at the same time or at least given the effort to get there at the same time,” said Edwards. “That’s what America is about. Teamwork.”
Edwards who took part in the 1995 “Million Man March” says to continue by the example that Dr. King set forth, people have to work together.
According to local historian, Dr. Crystal Reynolds, when people think of black leaders from Terre Haute, you may hear names such as Roger Cheeks the first African American on the city council or Willa Brown, the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol.