COVINGTON - The 3rd Annual Black History Month Program sponsored by the city of Covington and Main Street Covington takes place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Newton County Historic Courthouse, located at 1124 Clark Street.
City Councilwoman Janet Goodman, one of the event organizers, said local students will participate, reading the Emancipation Proclamation and essays on the meaning of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech as well as singing.
"A lot of teenagers think the way things are now are how they've always been. They need to know the history, how some of this came about."
Richard Johnson, Flemmie Pitts and Forrest Sawyer Jr. will speak about their experiences during the Civil Rights movement. Goodman said many young people may not be aware of the struggles that went on right in Covington as local blacks fought for equality. Blacks boycotted local merchants, participated in marches and were jailed, she said.
Board of Education member Shakila Henderson-Baker will provide the challenge to local students to continue their education.
Goodman said some young people may not be educated about the contributions of the black community, including inventions such as the stoplight and the mop. She said one of the goals of the event is to encourage young people to continue on with that legacy, "but in order to do that, you've got to get something in your head first. You need to build character."
Everyone is invited to attend the Black History Month Program.