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Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker marks 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act in Wilmington

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple was at the Wilmington Convention Center today.

Alice Walker was just one of the honorees for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. One of the servers for the event, Shantay Ward, says she was honored to be a part of it.

"It's more than a history book can teach you, because you're here with them," Ward said.

One of the opera singers who came down from Chicago, Rodrick Dixon, hopes the words he sang were relavent to the event. 

"It goes something like this," Dixon said. “Go out. Tell the story. Let it echo far and wide. Make them hear you. Make them hear you."

Everyone was honored to be celebrating at the Convention Center. Fifty years ago today President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.

The Countywide Community Development Corporation put together this luncheon to celebrate and recognize past legends and today's legends. One of those honorees was Walker. She said it's important to celebrate coming together.

"An opportunity like this is one that gives me a chance to be with people who have really stood for fine values," Walker said.

She added what it meant for the community as a whole.

"It is very integrated, and all kinds of people are involved," she said. "This is a great movement forward for us, and I deeply, deeply respect it. I am so happy to see it."

Organizers say Walker wanted to be part of the event in our community after learning about a push in Brunswick County to ban The Color Purple from schools.

This luncheon was just part of an ongoing project to make the community aware of the city's history. You can find School Pride: The Eastern NC Story art exhibit at the Cameron Art Museum that also honors the 50th anniversary by Willie Cole.

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