Reflection, not remembrance, is the goal of a Black History Month program at an Evans church today.
Back to the Future: Honoring Those That Make It Possible is the title of a program at Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church. The program looks back at the strides that blacks have made since their ancestors toiled as slave labor.
"You don't know where you're going if you don't know where you came from," said Jennie Roberts, a retired military nurse living in Evans and chairwoman of the church's Black History Program.
"A reflection is looking back and understanding there was a struggle," she said. "There were things that occurred so we could have opportunities today. A reminder can be negative or positive. A reminder is more like, remember when? A reflection is more like stepping into it and trying to experience it."
Part of the program's reflection experience, which begins at 10:45 a.m., includes decorating the church in burlap sacks and cotton bales and asking attendees to dress as sharecroppers or farmers.
"Our struggles were in the field when options and opportunities were not there," Roberts said. "We had to come from there."
The guest speaker at the special service is the Rev. Katie Davis, who relates to the program in a personal way.
"Rev. Davis is someone who is familiar with the cotton fields," Roberts said. "She comes from a family of sharecroppers."
Before the sermon by Davis, who is an associate pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., the service includes a dance troupe performing civil rights-themed numbers and a symbolism-laden candle-lighting ceremony in which senior church members pass candles to the youth members.
"It's passing on the torch to the youth," Roberts said. "We brought (equal rights) this far. Now it's their turn to keep going."
The event also will include a civil rights-themed artifacts display.
The public is invited to attend.
IF YOU GO
What: Back to the Future: Honoring Those That Make It Possible
Where: Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church, 703 Furys Ferry Road
When: Today, 10:45 a.m.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.