Laurel, Miss. - Monday marks the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.
Laurel Mayor, Johnny Magee said, "I actually remember that day. A friend and I were sitting out in the backyard and it came across the news that Dr. King had been killed. I had a strong mother and she made sure that I knew what was going on. She made sure that I knew how to act."
But Magee believes that there's a lot of Black people throughout the country that needs to start taking advantage of the opportunities they are given that Dr. King paved the way for.
Magee said "you know we can go to any college we want to. But first of all, you got to get out of high school. And we don't have enough young Black males taking advantage of that. We have some females who do, but we still can use more because we have to be people who are educated and informed.”
Magee said “we don't care for each other like he tried to get us to do. I think we are regressing in so many ways that Dr. King stood for, the things that Dr. King wanted us to be as people."
To fix a major societal problem, it all starts at the family.
Magee said "the home is the first teacher of the children. And if we don't do a better job at home, then we're going to continue to build more prisons. We're going to continue to have a dropout rate that far exceeds what it should be. If we mirrored the things that he stood for and the things that he lived for. Then we would be a much, much better place."