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By Columnist Bob Bridge 

Clarence Brown
Clarence Brown

Sunday is the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March which begins at 2 p.m. at the Lawrence County Courthouse.

From there, the event will shift across the street to the Stonegate Arts and Education Building for additional festivities and camaraderie.

Why do I attend this celebration? Simple, it always elicits a smile and makes me feel warm inside, which is difficult to do on a frigid January afternoon.

Clarence Brown, the orchestrator of this glorious gathering, invariably greets me with a grin and a twinkle in his eye.

His passion is palpable. When he talks about God and MLK, energy and enthusiasm explode from every single pore of that lanky body.

Make no mistake, this event is not intended specifically for blacks, whites or … albinos. It is designed for everyone.

Hence, the word “unity.”

For me, it’s an opportunity to join with an eclectic ensemble of friends and exhibit my sincere appreciation for Clarence and MLK, the legendary civil rights leader who devoted his life to a persistent yet non-violent pursuit of equality.

Sadly, we are not quite there yet. Impartiality should be important … to all of us.

Rev. King insisted an individual deserves to be judged by the color of his or her skin. I wholeheartedly concur.

During more than a half dozen decades on this planet I have gradually ascertained that screaming at someone for the purpose of altering a mindset is seldom a productive process.

However, mingling with neighbors helps us realize how much we have in common and highlights the qualities and aspirations we share.

These past several months have been difficult and stressful. Our economy and “unity” have been less than satisfactory.

This celebration can uplift us. It will feel good to hug and shake hands with old friends.

This is so much more than a brief stroll around the square. The speeches are thought-provoking and the post-march musical performances should be especially entertaining.

Remember, everyone is welcome!

Contact Bob Bridge at 812-276-9646 or

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