About this Series: Throughout the month of February, "What It Means: A Black History Month Series" will tell the story of leaders within Newton County's Black community, while highlighting the importance of Black History Month and acknowledging the continued progress toward reaching equality.
COVINGTON, Ga. — Councilman Kenneth Morgan considers Black History Month a special time to reflect on the progress of the Black community, but he also believes there should be a greater effort to acknowledge Black history year-round.
Morgan, who has served on the Covington City Council in West Ward Post 1 since 2015, told The Covington News that, “all history is important, and Black history should be treated as such.”
In line with recent comments from U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Morgan said he was proud of the progress made among the Black community, but he also sees room to grow.
“It’s significant to see how far we’ve come — how far we’ve progressed,” Morgan said. “But when you look at the things that have happened in recent years … we’ve still not come as far as we thought we have.”
Many Black men and women over the last several decades have made major contributions in paving the way to equality for the Black community, Morgan said, and he was grateful for the work and sacrifice of those who came before him. But Morgan said two figures had inspired him more than others: the late Martin Luther King Jr. and former president Barrack Obama.
“Without Dr. King, I can’t imagine where we’d be today,” Morgan said.
In order to achieve true equality for every American, Morgan said it would require unity among a currently divided nation.
“There’s an African proverb, or philosophy, that comes to mind: Let’s ‘harambee.’ Let’s ‘all pull together,’” Morgan said. “That’s the point we need to get to … Look past color and see people for who they are.”
But Morgan said he believed such change that trickles down to directly impact Newton County would only start when people become willing to look inward and seek to change as an individual.
“Many of us need to look at ourselves, stop thinking and making decisions based on individual goal or agenda, and put the focus on doing what’s best for the community — and not just for the Black community, but the whole community … it’s not just about Black lives, but it’s about all lives.”
A key to continued progress and change is communication, Morgan said. It’s important to the current quality of life, and for that of the next generation.
“Another element that I feel will be beneficial is mentoring, which i feel is an important opportunity that we have,” Morgan said. “And two young boys in our community that comes to mind is Emmanuel Simpson and Jordan Simpson that inspires me to be the best I can be for them and others for their continued growth, because it’s important to me and part of my responsibility as a person, a leader, and as a Black man I owe it to them.”