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About 100 people remembered the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Friday morning at York Comprehensive High School as they listened to the story of a York County leader in the civil rights movement.
Two other MLK events are planned in Western York County this weekend. They include a 1 p.m. Saturday parade in downtown York and a 6 p.m. Monday program at the Clover Resource Center.
Dub Massey, a member of the Friendship Nine — nine Friendship Junior College students who were arrested and jailed after a 1961 sit-in at the McCrorey’s lunch counter in downtown Rock Hill — told attendees at a York breakfast on Friday that he had grown up being disturbed by the injustice of racial equality.
“The thing that continued to eat at my heart was, why is there this racial divide?” he said. But it wasn’t until he was invited to participate in the sit-in that he decided to do something about it.
Massey, now 70, and eight other young black men were jailed and worked on the York County chain gang following their arrest on Jan. 31, 1961 for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter in Rock Hill.
Still, Massey said the record that still exists from the arrest didn’t prevent him from serving in the military, pastoring churches or working as a teacher and a counselor in local schools.
“The record is still there,” Massey said of his police record. “Now it needs to stay there.”
Steve Love, a state NAACP executive board member who attended school in York, recalls that as a sixth-grade boy, Massey was his hero. “His discipline was tough, but he loved us all the same,” Love said.
York Mayor Eddie Lee said of Massey, “we appreciate the courage he displayed 61 Januarys ago.” He also said that King “continued to speak to us about courage and justice and meeting the challenges we face in this time.”
Other Western York County MLK events are:
• The Western York County NAACP will present its annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade at 1 p.m. Saturday in downtown York.
The parade will proceed down Congress Street, from the Whitesides Laundry parking lot to the old Jefferson High School football field. Parade lineup will begin at 11 a.m.
The parade, which began in the early 1980s, is believed to be one of the oldest Martin Luther King Jr. parades in the state, organizers say. It will feature the York and Clover high school marching bands as well as invited bands from Orangeburg, Columbia and Benedict College.
The parade, which expects to feature at least 50 to 60 units, this year will honor the oldest living graduates of the original Jefferson High School in York and Roosevelt High School in Clover, said Maurice Sanders, president of the Western York County NAACP.
Clover schools Superintendent Dr. Marc Sosne will be the speaker. The spiritual speaker will be the Rev. Charles White, national director of field operations for the NAACP.
The event also will feature guest choirs and praise dancers.