Standing near the entrance to Downtown’s Clayborn Temple Sunday evening, Nina Tayloe grabbed the hands of 75-year-old Brown Berry, dropped to her knees and cried out for forgiveness.
“Forgive me,” she said. “Forgive me on behalf of my family for the ugliness of that time . . . but praise God, we have a beautiful Lord who brings about hope and restoration.”
Berry, a young black man in Memphis during the civil rights movement and sanitation workers strike, nodded his head in acceptance and embraced the 59-year-old white woman.
Before the crumbling steps of a shuttered church closely associated with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., more than two dozen people–including clergy from Christian denominations across Memphis–gathered at 6 p.m. for a prayer march remembering his legacy.
Prayers were focused on family, church, education and the upcoming “Great Day of the Dreamers,” an event commemorating the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” as well as the dedication of a memorial in his honor in Washington.