SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Many citizens of our nation reflected on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Wednesday 50 years after he was assassinated in Tennessee. His influence is still felt throughout the country and right here in South Mississippi.
The work done at Back Bay Mission in Biloxi can be tied to the legacy that Dr. Martin Luther King Junior left behind. Dr. Alice Graham, the executive director, still bases her daily life on the message of hope and love that King preached.
"Martin Luther King to me was bigger than life. He was just an amazing man who took courage, who used his faith to move him forward, to sustain him," said Graham.
Graham grew up in Chicago but ended up in Atlanta for college in the '60s. That's where she began getting involved in the Civil Rights Movement. She remembers how King's message influenced her to join a march in Atlanta, which she was initially reluctant to do, but found that it was life-changing.
"What I realized in that march was that in order for the nation to change, people had to work together," said Graham.
After that experience, Graham says she decided to dedicate her life to service. Following Hurricane Katrina, she felt led to come to the Coast after seeing the resilience that the area had to recover.
Now, she leads the efforts at Back Bay Mission to help those in need in the community through numerous programs providing food, housing, and resources.
"Walking with people in such a way that they can understand that where they are now is not permanent," said Graham.
It's a service that she says fits right along with King's philosophy.
"I think the most important lesson is to have hope," said Graham.