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Locks Urges Americans to 'Push Forward'

WINTERVILLE—As part of Pitt Community College’s celebration of the life and legacy of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr. this month, the college’s Multicultural Activities Committee organized a breakfast program to raise money for a new scholarship.

Held in the Goess Student Center Jan. 18, the “Multicultural Activities Scholarship Breakfast” featured a presentation by Rev. Sidney Locks, former pastor of Greenville’s Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to which King once belonged.

Tickets to the breakfast were $10 each with proceeds going toward the establishment of a Multicultural Activities Scholarship at the college. PCC’s Jasmin Spain, who helped organize the event, said the program generated $680 for the scholarship.

Locks, who presently serves as chair of the Board for Total Christian Ministries, focused his remarks at PCC on equal rights for all Americans. He said that while much progress has been made toward that objective in the years since King led the fight, the nation must continue to “push forward” to reach the “bright promises of tomorrow,” as opposed to getting “stuck in the mud of the past.”

"I'm proud to be an American; there's no country on Earth where I'd rather have citizenship,” Locks said. “But we have issues to overcome. America is not all it can be, yet.”

Locks said it would take a concerted effort by all Americans to “get out of the shackles of the many means of divisiveness.” And he reminded those in attendance that the nation will mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, an important milestone in the fight to end slavery, later this year.

“We’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes to get America out of the doldrums of the past,” Locks said.

PCC will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with programs focusing on this year’s national theme – “At the Crossroads of Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

Highlighting the festivities will be a Feb. 19 presentation by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield on the significance of those historical events. The program, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Goess Student Center, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Starting Feb. 4, a Black History Month Fine Art Exhibit will be on display in the Vernon E. White Building. The art will be on display through May 15.