Abernathy Keynotes Third Annual SCLC Drum Major Awards


Rev. Ralph Abernathy, III speaks as members on the platform look on.
Rev. Ralph Abernathy, III speaks as members on the platform look on.

Servant Emannuel Branch

The GA Coastal SCLC Chapter in Savannah hosted their Third Annual SCLC Drum Major Awards Dinner on March 9, 2011 at the Quality Inn. Presenting the awards was Carl Gilliard, President of the Savannah SCLC Chapter. The keynote address was delivered by Rev. Ralph Abernathy III, the son of Civil Rights legend and best friend to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr— Ralph Abernathy.

Rev. Abernathy III message included critical events of our journey from 400 years of slavery to racial segregation to our present move toward economic development and empowerment as a people.

After a very powerful and moving speech by Rev. Abernathy III several deserving honorees were awarded the following SCLC Drum Major Awards—awards that were long overdue: -Ms. Mama T was honored not only for her famous cooking but also for her years of community service -Mr. Gator Rivers was honored with the SCLC Lifetime Sports Legacy Award -Mr. Samuel Stewart was honored with the SCLC Lifetime Sports Legacy Award for his incredible baseball record spanning since the 1950’s -Mr. & Mrs. James Hudson was honored with the Martin and Coretta Award for their life long community service and activism -Mr. Eddie L. Warren was honored with the MLK Legacy Award -Mr. Grover Thornton was honored with the Rev. Hosea Williams Award -Chaplain Nathaniel Hester was honored with The MLK Leadership Award -Elder Walter Stewart was honored with the SCLC Pioneer Award -Mr. Jerome Hayes was honored with the Organization of The Year Award -Elder Nathaniel Neal was honored with the ML King Drum Major Award -Chaplain Nathaniel Nelson was honored with the SCLC Legacy Award -Pastor Bernard Clarke was honored with the Pastor of The Year Award

Rev. Abernathy III ended his two-day lecture tour in Savannah by speaking at Armstrong Atlantic University (on March 10, 2011) where he addressed students of The History of African American Studies. The nearly packedout classroom listened intently as they heard behind-thescenes details about the Civil Rights Movement that are not usually found in text books. “I was arrested at the age of nine marching on a mule train down in South Georgia [Douglasville],” as stated by Rev. Abernathy.

Abernathy informed students that the Civil Rights Movement was made up of people of good-will, which is found within all groups of people—black and white.

During the question and answer portion of the lecture students were inspired to the point where they wanted to know how to form their own organizations in the struggle for justice. The answer given was that “it first must begin in your heart.” Scheduled only to speak for thirty-minutes, the son of a Civil Rights legend found himself answering question after question, where he had spoken for nearly an hour.

The lecture ended on the positive note that the youth of today are the future and that our future is built on education; so stay in school.


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