February 19, 2015 --
Keynote speaker Dr. Frederick Williams Sr. addressed a crowd of more than 150 people during Black History Month at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Feb. 19, challenging them to stay on their “continuous road.”
Themed, “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture,” the event was hosted by the Albany Area Chapter of Blacks in Government, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Marine Corps Logistics Command.
Williams, founder, CEO and senior pastor of Gethsemane Worship Center in Albany, Georgia, said history is defined as the study of past events.
“When you say Black History or African-American History, we are going to reflect on past events, gathering important facts and information of a past to ensure a significant productive future,” he said.
The speaker noted words associated with the history of this wonderful past: captured, removed, exploited, used, detained, oppressed, challenged, slavery, indignity, overpower, injustice, unfair, unequal, struggle and difficulty.
“Many of us in this room, regardless of what road you have been on have experienced some of those words,” Williams said. “Gifts of enduring faith, dreams and determination, love and compassion, unbroken spirits and sacrifices of life fog the equality of a future generation.”
During his speech, he spoke of several notable African-Americans, who have left powerful testimonies of success and accomplishment.
“I challenge many of you today to consider some of those who endured so that you may cross other bridges and cross major valleys,” Williams said. “Bridges that cross you to greener pastures, bridges of education, equalization, bridges that brought us from despair to some form of glory. Our thoughts, our dreams, visions and goals must be absolutely believed in order for us to achieve (them).”
He closed by recommending the audience to keep dreaming.
“The road is continuous no matter how you feel you have arrived,” he said. “There is room for improvement, there is room for development, there is room for you to image yourself somewhere in the future and it is much greater than where you are no. Don’t stop dreaming.”
Ira Thompson, president, Albany Area Chapter Blacks in Government, noted there is much history in Albany and it reminds all Americans it is not Black History, it is American history that involves Black people, African-American people.
“This is to help everyone remember that African-Americans played a pivotal piece in history and we want everyone to know that it's not about being Black, it's about showing that we had a part of history within itself,” Thompson said. “We can see that through the base, our military, civil organizations, colleges and students, and we want this heritage to go on and not be forgotten."