ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – One of the original Freedom Singers spoke to WALB News 10s Molly Godley at Phoebe’s service day on Monday.
They say Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a perfect example of hard work and not giving up. The main message was to use your voice and help continue the work that Dr. King started, and that this holiday is not a day off, it’s a day away.
Rutha Mae Harris is one of the original Freedom Singers, a group founded in Albany in 1962.
“Use your voice. It’s the only voice you have,” Harris said.
Not only was she heavily involved in the Albany movement, but also in the March on Washington as well as other civil rights movements.
During the Albany Movement in 1961, she said she helped with voter registration drives. Teach people to write their name to register and vote.
She remembers a time she will never forget.
“This 90-year-old man had never written his name. All he ever signed was X. So I taught him how to write his name and got him to become a registered voter at age 90 years,” Harris said.
Not only was she heavily involved in voter registration, giving a voice to others, but she also used her own. And still does.
Even though the Albany movement had already started, she said Dr. King was a big part of it.
“He brought cameras to our town. Here he learned to strategize for the next move he went to. It’s a day of service, it’s not a day off, but a day of work. It means we must continue to pursue the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Harris said.
Harris said she hopes the day inspires others to use their voices for justice.
Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.