16th annual Rosa Parks Breakfast held today

Published 1:15 pm Saturday, February 4, 2023

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“We are never to be fearful of what we’re doing if we’re doing it right.”

That’s what the Rev. Cromwell Handy said to those gathered today at the 16th annual Rosa Parks Prayer Breakfast at Greater Mt. Triumph Baptist Church in Atmore.

The breakfast, sponsored by the Yellow Hat Society, is held to honor the life, legacy and work of Rosa Parks, the well-known Alabama trailblazer who began the Montgomery Bus Boycott by not letting up her seat.

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Cromwell, the former pastor of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, is the president of the Dexter Avenue King Legacy Foundation and serves as pastor of The Church in Montgomery. He is the director of alumni relations at Alabama State University.

Cromwell, a passionate speaker himself, said everyone was gathered Saturday to thank the Lord for the opportunity to observe an ordinary woman in an extraordinary time.

“Rosa Parks impacted humanity to impact the cause of civil and human rights,” he said.

Cromwell spoke of many black women who impacted many, including Sojourner Truth, who delivered the ‘Ain’t I A Woman’ speak in Akron, Ohio; Harriet Tubman, the American abolitionist who led the Underground Railroad; and spoke of Esther of the Bible, who had courage to save many people.

“Rosa Parks wasn’t a queen of a king, she was a child of a king,” Cromwell said. “Rosa Parks said stand for something, or you will fall for anything.”

Cromwell isn’t a stranger to the civil rights era. He recalled times growing up when black people couldn’t just stop anywhere on long trips. He said on a trip from Georgia to Maryland, they couldn’t stop for food, even.

But, he said, much has changed.

“We were not allowed to ride in the front of the bus; now we are riding in front in the space shuttle,” he said. “We can be whatever we want to be; we are precious in the site of God.”

Cromwell said Parks knew that God had her back time tough times and in good times.

“The struggle is real,” he said. “We need to get up and forward march to trust and depend on the Lord.”

Occasions were said and selections were sung during the annual breakfast.

Mayor Jim Staff gave a city update, and awarded a plaque to Cromwell.

Escambia County School System Superintendent Michele McClung updated all on the Atmore-area schools and the schools’ accomplishments.

Pathway Counselor Sherilyn Reynolds presented the 2023 Trailblazer Award to Chris Walker; and the 2023 Rosa Parks Award to Pastor Carolyn Banks.

State Rep. Alan Baker, through Gov. Kay Ivey, awarded Dr. Zickeyous Byrd, superintendent of Selma City Schools, a certificate of recognition.

Yellow Hat Society President Lillie Johnson said the breakfast is held to honor Parks that started the movement, and encouraged all to return next year.