For Rosalind Curtis, it wasn’t just another mundane Monday.
Curtis proclaimed it a day of privilege and inspiration, one small window to honor a man who arouses in her feelings of perseverance.
“It’s a day to rejoice in our freedom,” Curtis said. “We are gracious for what Martin Luther King Jr. did and what he fought for. For me it means that if you have a dream, you can achieve it. I can achieve my goals if I do not give up.”
Curtis expressed her feelings during an awards and recognition banquet at the Memorial Building, part of the Martin Luther King Jr. festivities on Monday. There was also a parade and concert on Saturday in memory of the civil rights leader.
The Martin Luther King Jr. celebration festivities on Monday were a family affair.
Curtis, the director of African American Affairs, brought two children to participate in the activities. Terrance Lee, her 12-year-old son who attends Portales Junior High School, sang a solo entitled “His Eyes is on the Sparrow.” Takisha Phillips, her 10-year-old daughter who attends Valencia Elementary, performed a praise song to “Ala Baster Box.”
The Junior Chamber of Commerce was presented the best float of the parade award. There are 13 members on the JCOC. The JCOC members planned two weeks in advance and for a week, met after school at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds to decorate the float.
The float which was titled, “There’s No Backseat in JCOC,” was a tribute to Rosa Parks.
“The group came up with the idea of the Rosa Parks’ theme,” JCOC director Felisha Wolfe said. “Some of the kids walked from school to the fairgrounds in the afternoon. They went above and beyond the call of duty. It’s good to see their efforts rewarded.”
Curtis, a representative of the Cultural Affairs committee for Portales, was awarded a certificate as well for working on the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. Veda Urioste, the mistress of ceremonies, presented Oscar Robinson, Pilar Martinez, Joan Martinez-Terry, Nancy Varelas, Diana Cordova and Felicia Rains with certificates also. They are members of the Cultural Affairs for Portales. Urioste also had a certificate for Portales Police Chief Jeff Gill, who was not present.
“Freedom is not a small part of our life,” Robinson said in his presentation. “It’s very powerful. He dedicated his life to freedom. The day is not about one man, it’s about our freedom.”
Urioste also recognized Joe Blair, a local historian who was representing Veterans of Foreign Affairs and American Legion.