HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) – A Hampstead church will host a program Sunday in which Ronald Fuller will share his memories about being an activist in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Movement involved thousands of black Americans who sought to end racial discrimination and gain equal rights under the law.
Fuller, who now lives in Brunswick County, remembers walking alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and will speak at a Black History Program hosted by St. John AME Church in Hampstead.
Martha Jacobs, a minister at the church, said programs like this creates awareness about the past in which many may not be as familiar with today.
“Especially our young people, this is an inspiration that somebody has already paved the way,” Jacobs said. “We didn’t get this far on our own.”
Fuller remembers being a young teen and walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River in Selma, Alabama. He recalls with vivid detail what happened on what has become known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ as demonstrators were assaulted by whites and law enforcement officers.
“Of course we were beaten and run back into town and then, eventually, by the national media covering that, we were allowed by the President to march by the protection of the Natural Guard,” Fuller said. “At a later time, I walked 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery.”
By sharing memories of what happened, Fuller hopes those who hear him remember the personal sacrifice of King and others who took park in these peaceful demonstrations to pave the way for the freedoms all Americans have today in the United States.
“I’m trying to let the young people know their history of how we as a people got to where we are,” Fuller said.
Fuller describes King as a ‘dynamic’ individual.
“It was mesmerizing to listen to him,” Fuller said. “I felt very privileged to have been able to know him and see him in person and be in his presence.”
You can hear Fuller share more about his experiences on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. at St. John AME Church, 861 St. John Church Road, Hampstead.