“The freedom I enjoy, and the freedom you enjoy came with a price. Nothing is free. The salvation that you enjoy and the salvation that I enjoy are because God gave his only Son and it cost him his life. Standing up for justice cost Dr. King his life. The right that we have to vote cost so many lives,” Frank told about 50 people in attendance.
“I heard an old Negro spiritual ‘We shall overcome, someday.’ I’m still waiting on someday. I’m still waiting on my 40 acres. I’m still waiting on my mule. Our work is not done. There is still a lot of work to do.
“Dr. King was known for his dreams … he worked to eliminate poverty, to eliminate racism and sexism on every front. In 1963, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., he told thousands that he had a dream for America, and that dream was deeply rooted in the American dream.”
Frank spoke about freedom and its meaning today.
“Are we really free? … There are still those who are still being oppressed. We are still waiting for the day where we can declare that as a people we have been truly liberated … even though the chains are now gone we still face enslavement.”
This, he said, is because there are still many who face social segregation and financial hardship. While King championed the cause and made remarkable advancements, Frank said “we are losing what we have gained.”
“We are still a people who have hope because Dr. King had a dream,” he said.
Jacqueline Brown of Morgan City, who was in attendance Monday, spoke of the significance of the day:
“It’s a success story because of the history that’s behind all of this. Being here alive when all of this was going on, we saw what was going on. We saw the horrific story behind the scenes … blacks and whites lost their lives during this historic time period,” she said.
“The only thing I’m really concerned with is that our children do not know the depths of the history of this day. Some of them say ‘Why are we off of school? It’s just a holiday.’ They don’t know the reason why and that should be very important. I think we as a race should get together with our children and actually let them know the meaning, the full meaning, and the implications of this day.
“I still work in the school system … and I read Martin Luther King’s story even though Martin Luther King didn’t do all of this by himself. Ralph Abernathy, he was the leader of this thing. I know Jesse Jackson, my late husband, the Rev. DeForest Brown. They were all involved in this thing. Harry Belafonte, all those young men — they were really instrumental in this day having its totality of history.”
“We’re going to have to figure a way to get more of our young people to participate.”