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HAWKINSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Each day that volunteer Dr. Keith Green enters Newberry Foundation Heritage Center, he remembers the path paved for him.
“That’s what it stands for, to understand who I really am and to be proud of my heritage,” Green said.
Green grew up in Hawkinsville and says those who look like him weren’t always welcome.
“Up until the mid to late 70s when we had the theatre here in Pulaski County…African Americans had to go upstairs to watch the movies and the whites went downstairs,” Green recalled. “I can remember that as a kid in 1975 and 76 going to see movies.”
Newberry Foundation Heritage Center founder
Dr. Julius Johnson started the museum in 2010. He credits Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a big influence.
“We cannot sit idly by witnessing history,” Dr. Johnson said. “We’ve got to get out of the stands and get on the playing field. We have to act and be a part of making history.”
Johnson says the museum continues Dr. King’s legacy of togetherness by being a source to the community.
“We try to embrace his values in our food program, you know we feed over 250 of our residents once a month, our literacy program, and raising awareness around electoral politics encouraging people to be involved in our elections,” Johnson said.
Green says participating in building a better future for his family and community reminds him of why Dr. King’s work means so much.
“To be able to dream, to be able to know that regardless of what society says I should be, that I am greater than what the perspective is of an African American man.”