By Don Shilling
YOUNGSTOWN — It’s time to stand up and act, just as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did, a speaker said.
“Who’s got next?” the Rev. Amariah McIntosh said to hundreds of people who packed Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church on Himrod Avenue Sunday for a service to honor King.
The line came from television commercials before the 1992 Olympics. The ads showed members of the U.S. women’s basketball team finding men playing basketball at various locations and surprising them by saying, “We got next.”
The men laughed until the women took the court against them.
Rev. McIntosh, the keynote speaker at a community worship service to honor King, asked the audience to be as bold as the women in those commercials.
Society needs people who will stand up against racism and poverty, said the pastor of Phillips Chapel CME in Youngstown. Society needs people who will stand up for those suffering with AIDS and other diseases and those suffering from child abuse and elder abuse, she said.
“We need folk who will fight for justice. Who’s got next?”
By the time Rev. McIntosh was done with her challenge, many in the audience were standing, clapping and shouting their affirmation.
There was one other group that Rev. McIntosh said needed assistance — the people of Haiti who are suffering from last week’s earthquake.
Helping these victims was a focus of the service, which is organized annually by the Martin Luther King Planning Committee of Mahoning County.
Read the full story of the event Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com. View a video of the observance on Vindy.com.