King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. He was 39 years old.
“We have all been given dreams. Since we were kids, we had this grand experience of being something other than what we were,” Antoine said. “Something happened along the way. We lost interest in that dream.
“It is never too late to go back and uproot that dream and fulfill it. You are never too old.”
A group of 30 men and women, young and old, gathered at the stump at the corner of Greene and Miles Streets. In the past, the sermon was given on top of the stump. But now the sermon is given next to it because the wooden stump is rotting.
Antoine said many do not pursue their dream because they lose focus. They either get distracted or someone influences them to change their dreams.
He also added that today’s world is moving too fast and everyone needs to slow down.
Antoine, 61, was 18 years old when Martin Luther King was shot and killed.
“I remember it well,” Antoine said after the sermon. “We lost something that was needed. When I heard the news, it was nauseating. We saw someone taken away from us who was trying to do good for everyone.”
Antoine said that racism still has “a long way to go.”
“We have seen a lot of changes in Abbeville and the country,” he said.
Cynthia Henderson was one of a handful at the stump sermon. Henderson, 60, has been attending the sermon for the last four years.
“It is a day to reflect. To reflect on what Martin Luther King has always tried to do for us, the world,” said Henderson. “He wanted peace with everyone. This is my time to come out and reflect back on those things.”
Henderson was in high school when King was killed. She said the world has changed for both the good and the bad since King’s death.
Henderson said, “There is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Looking back and how things were a long time ago, we have come a long way. But we have to remember, we still have a ways to go.”