Intrepid, ground-breakers like Parker David Robbins brought forth a world that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took and carried further. Yesterday, the gains made by Dr. King, and those like him, paid back the favor because Robbins and Dr. King shared a glorious celebration in Duplin County, North Carolina.
The county’s annual King Day Celebration brought together the broad spectrum of residents to honor both men as well as present and future leaders. It was a day of color guards, anthems, prayers, speeches about justice and ascension, history lessons, four US Colored Troop re-enactors, four Confederate women re-enactors (one of whom is a Robbins descendant!), fifty-some drawings of Robbins’ life by Duplin County elementary students, awards for students and educators, musical performances, large audiences, a motorcade from Kenansville to Magnolia and finally, the unveiling of the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker for the multi-talented and accomplished Robbins. Robbins, born in the Choanoac Indian community of Gates County, made his rise in Bertie County, in battlefields running from Suffolk to Richmond, in Raleigh, in Hertford County and finally, in Duplin County where he spent most of his adult life and is buried.
The Chowan Discovery Group, nominator of the marker, has many people to thank – too many to note here. Yet, special thank yous go to Delilah Gomes, coordinator of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee and the Committee itself, the Duplin County Historical Association, the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Fred Johnson, Sr. – Sergeant of the Battery B, 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery re-enactors, and Earl Ijames of the North Carolina History Museum. View the photography gallery and the video from News14 Carolina.