HometownBell County


Bell County community members, leaders remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a year full of civil unrest

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 19:28:48-05

Celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year looked a bit different, from motorcades to socially distant rallies, but one thing stayed the same- the passion for fighting for justice and peace right in our community.

Bennie Walsh, president of the Temple Chapter of the NAACP, remembered mirroring Dr. King’s actions and marching with his supporters over 60 years ago. Fast forward to Monday, even a pandemic couldn’t stop him from celebrating Dr. King's legacy.

“It is too important not to recognize Dr. King’s dream,” Walsh said. “And his dream was for us to become unified and love one another. So, we have to do this.”

Many of us watched the death of George Floyd on our TV screens, and most recently the killing of Patrick Warren, Sr. by a Killeen police officer.

These events are just a few that many say make this year even more important for remembering the civil rights pioneer.

“With everything going on and everyone having an increased awareness, there also needs to be an increased awareness as to what Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for,” said Terris Goodwin, the founder of Wake Up Temple.

It’s also a reason why Ronnie Russell, the founder and president of the Innovation Black Chamber of Commerce, believes the fight for equality is far from over.

“In a community that is as diverse as Bell County, we have to look at the things we have in common,” Russel explained.

Russell says it’s those differences, the ones Dr. King fought for, that can unite us as one.

“Although we look different, we all want the same thing, which is opportunity,” he said.

While 2020 took a toll on a lot of us, Walsh called on the community hoping for a change this year.

“We have to change this thing. We’ve been fighting it for too long,” Walsh said. “All we want to do is try to come together and have equal rights for everybody, not just Black, everybody.”