West Point host MLK celebration at the former Mary Holmes College

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – People in West Point started their MLK celebrations over the weekend with a food drive in his honor.

They continued their work Monday with a march from Martin Luther King Street all the way to the former Mary Holmes campus.

There they came to celebrate King’s life.

This year’s theme is “It Starts With Me. ”

Anna Jones has been coordinating Martin Luther King celebrations in West Point for over 25 years.

She has seen many changes in that time, but one thing remains:

Her community still sees the dream.

“It means that the dream is still being fulfilled. We are not there but we are working on it. I’ve seen a lot of change since I’ve been in the United States. I’m from Ghana, West Africa and I’ve seen a lot of change from the ’80s to now. Things are getting better, but it still needs a lot of work, ” said Jones.

Jones said it all begins with understanding one another.

“I’d say more cohesion between the races. A lot of times it’s not knowing, but once you get to know somebody and you get to learn the different cultures and the different ways that they are brought up, it’s just communication, and once we get that going things will be a whole lot better,” said Jones.

Assistant Director Ashley Marshall Cox said it’s also important to understand the part of the story from your own hometown. That’s why they gather at Mary Holmes.

“I think it’s good we have it here just because a lot of people before they knew about any other college this was the stomping ground for a lot of people. It’s important for us to continue this tradition here for everyone to see and know this is where we started. We need to continue that and get more young people involved so they can understand the history behind Mary Holmes College, ” said Cox.

Cox and Jones both hope that these programs will continue to inspire.

“They will have to carry it on. it’s a legacy and once we are gone the older generation, has to have somebody to carry the torch,” said Jones.

Kaylie Taylor is a part of that next generation of torchbearers, and she was excited to be a part of the celebration.

“So we can celebrate and have fun and enjoy ourselves,” said Taylor.

Jones said that Cox has been working beside her for 12 years and she plans to hand the reins over to her in the next few years.

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