Monday, January 27, 2014

"The Dream is in Our Hands" by Reverend Otis Moss

LaGrange College received a special visit from one of the great civil rights leaders of Atlanta and our nation, Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, on Tuesday, January 21st.

The turnout to the event was standing room only in the Dickson Assembly room, and everyone was intently engaged.

Reverend Moss was a close, personal friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and is a LaGrange native. During his speech, he recalled that as a high school student, he washed the windows of the LaGrange College buildings for income. Back then, even though he worked hard to earn his money on the college campus, he was not allowed to attend because of his race. 

Even so, the winds of change came through Atlanta, LaGrange, and our nation when great civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Moss decided one day to stand up for their rights as human beings. 

His inspirational messages and recollections of lunch-counter sit-ins allowed us all a glimpse at what he and other civil rights leaders endured. Rev. Moss encouraged all who attended the assembly to make a difference in the world because the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and others were now in our hands. We repeated after him, "In our time and in our space, in God's Grace, we will, we can, we must make a difference."

The Dickson Assembly Room was standing (or sitting on the floor) room only!

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss with our chaplain, Rev. Dr. Quincy Brown
Rev. Moss (far right) pictured with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. For more information, see the original article from the Cincinnati Herald. Photo retrieved from The Cincinnati Herald,

 Our Library staff attended the event together,and were all inspired by the message:

"It was inspiring to hear the stories of someone who personally knew Dr. King and was involved in the early days of the civil rights movement.  I especially appreciated Dr. Moss's story, in answer to a student question, about MLK's arrest/sentencing to Reidsville after an Atlanta sit-in to desegregate lunch counters.
                                                                       -Charlene Baxter, public and technical services librarian

"As time goes on, many of the participants of the Civil Rights Era will no longer be with us. I was very fortunate and honored to hear Dr. Otis’ message on Tuesday, the day after we celebrated MLK Day.   Dr. Otis’ message was very timely for me.  His recollections of how as a high school student he worked at LaGrange College as a window washer, a college to which he could not attend - to his involvement in the Civil Rights movement, was inspirational.  We don’t think of how our small piece of life can fit into such a large picture, but his life and experiences illustrate how it can be done.  Often when we dream, we dream glorious, magnificent, bigger-than-life experiences for ourselves. However,  the humility of service is making sure the greatest plan is implemented: using God’s grace to us for the good to humanity. Dr. Otis reminded me that my little part of life can serve the greater good and that I have a vital part in ensuring that "The Dream" of which Martin Luther King spoke of, be realized."
                                                                                       - Krishmaa Jendayi-Robinson, nursing student

"I don't know if I would have had the courage to march or if I could have demonstrated peacefully. An example would be the lunch counter sit-ins. It took a lot of preparation and courage for those involved to do what they did."
                                                                                                   -Lisa Farrow, circulation manager

L to R: Lisa Farrow, Rev. Otis Moss, Krishmaa Jendayi-Robinson, and LaNisha Rivers

Read more about Rev. Moss' visit to LaGrange College in the LaGrange Daily News Article.

For an interesting clip of Dr. King's release from the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, see the Civil Rights Digital Library video!

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