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Foot Soldiers’ Reunion at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church-Smithfield.

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From left: Isaiah Armstrong, TJ Hudson, Paulette P, Roby, Renee Kemp Rotan, AJ Johnson, Ann Marie Adams, and Shirley Long Peoples

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Members of the Civil Rights Activist Committee this month held their annual Foot Soldiers’ Reunion at the St. Paul A.M.E. Church-Smithfield.

The gathering featured art observing the original Mule Train Journey of 1968, which was part of the Poor People’s Campaign which began in Marks, Mississippi, home of the Mule Train.

It was the last march planned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff prior to his assassination.

The plan was for caravans of poor people to journey to Washington including a group made up of mule-drawn wagons rather than buses, cars and vans. The Mule Train set off from Marks, Mississippi on May 13, 1968, and headed east across northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

Betty Crawford, an award winning artist and native of the Mississippi, serves as historian for the Mule Train Journey and she has preserved the history of the event the commemorative art which has been displayed in a number of museums. She has been recognized nationally for her work and has been honored the U.S. Congress.