Every year, a historic event takes place in Liberty County, Georgia. It is called “Walk to Dorchester.”
Yes, it’s a 9.5-mile painful walk, but there is a special meaning behind it all. Dorchester was an Academy for freed slaves after the Civil War (exploregeorgia.org).
This African American historical site, located in Midway, Georgia, hosted Dr. Martin Luther King’s planning meetings for his 1963 March on Birmingham (exploregeorgia.org).
The walk took place on Saturday, June 17, 2017, starting at 6 am. When my Memaw and I left home about 5:10 am to go to the park in Briar Bay, Georgia, it was still dark outside.
I am told our ancestors had to walk those 9.5 miles just to get an education. We started off with hearing a prayer from Elder Abel Houston, who asked God to give the walkers strength. The walk was not anything I expected.
It was long, but I felt like I accomplished something, so it was worth it. Most of the walk I stuck with my cousin Kalen Walthour from Atlanta, Georgia. Kalen and I attend the same school (Langston Hughes High School) in Atlanta and had one class together in the 10th grade.
One thing Kalen said that made me laugh was, “I know they didn’t walk all the way here just to go to school; couldn’t be me.” And to be honest, I couldn’t help but feel the same.
While I was walking the gnats were bad; they were all in my face. I even heard a rooster crowing when we first started walked. I stuck it out till about one mile before the finish.
That’s when I met up with my little cousin RJ Frasier and his mom Melanie Frasier from Charlotte, North Carolina. We were hurting so bad and were tired that we decided to get on Good Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church’s van and just ride up to the Dorchester Center instead of walking.
At the Dorchester Center they served us with a nice breakfast. Even though I didn’t eat all of my food like that because I was in pain, I was grateful. I enjoyed the event but this surely was a one-time thing because the pain afterwards was a hot mess. I even missed church the next day.
Anderson is the granddaughter of longtime Courier correspondent Edith Anderson.