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Posted: February 15, 2009 12:30 a.m.

A bold stance by a brave man

Again, we are proud this month to be highlighting the accomplishments and leadership of our local black residents, who through their perserverance, have helped make Newton County a place that we are proud to call home.

One such person is Forrest Sawyer Jr.

Forrest is a man of conviction, who had the courage to step up against the tide of disrespect and intolerance shown to him as a young man.

In doing so, he paid the price of that courage, as he was jailed as well as physically and verbally threatened for his principles.

He did not hide behind any disguise when he marched in the late 60s and early 70s. He was spit upon and called names - actions that you and I would not have stood still for, but he did and he did so with the same smile he proudly flashes today.

His peaceful marching had its desired effect, as he told us, "All of the marching was not in vain because we were trying to make things better for our young folk; black, white and yellow and brown."

People like Forrest and thousands of others like him accomplished that goal.

Make sure when you talk to your children about life and history, that when they see people of all races enjoying the American dream - that is now taken for granted - that heroes like Forrest Sawyer Jr. made the sacrifices for them and all of us - sacrifices that truly have made America a land of opportunity for all.


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