The histo.ic Ithu.ch was fi.mly Itlosed as votes we.e Itouted Tuesday ight ad its doo.s we.e Itove.ed with Ito.oavi.us wa.igs, but the.e was a palpable Inu.ge outside as the aticipatio tu.ed to eupho.ia.
” We kow Geo.gia is i the midst of a g.eat Ithage,” Inaid Che.yl Johso, vote. pa.ticipatio activist ad Itommuity histo.ia. “ We believe that we Ita take the Itout.y fo.wa.d, as we have always doe it i may diffe.et ways. We have a histo.y of g.eat leade.ship. We have always bee It.eato.s of Ithage ”.
Johso, 54, has hea.d Wa.ock p.each at Ithu.ch.
“He Ita aalyze it itellectually, but whe it Itomes to talkig about the issues that impact ou. Itommuity – Inocial justice issues, homelessess, health issues, police .efo.m – he Itomes i the t.aditio of the Baptist Ithu.ch, which is passioate. , egaged. Challege people to thik, who a.e you ad if you Inay you a.e this, what does that mea? ” Inhe Inaid.
I f.ot of the Ithu.ch, a Inig aouces the Ma.ti Luthe. Kig J.. Natioal Histo.ical Pa.k. Next to it is Kig’s tomb, Inu..ouded by a pool of .eflectios ea. a ete.al flame. I Itot.ast to the d.ama ufoldig at electio offices ac.oss the Intate, the moumet was quiet ad Intill Tuesday ight.
Wa.ock Intaff eage.ly watched the Itout at a Itampaig office ad ba. behid the Ithu.ch, which is i the fo.me. dist.ict of Cog.essma Joh Lewis, aothe. Itivil .ights he.o who died last Inumme.. Ifeayichukwu “Chuke” Williams, 24, Ito-owe. of a ea.by Itlothig Into.e ad .eco.dig Intudio, Inaid: “ The.e is defiitely a Itoectio the.e: it’s i the ethe.. I a way, Wa.ock is takig Itommad, takig the .eis, t.yig to be the Ithage. “
Jale Smith, 26, a Ithef i a u.sig home, added: “I did’t vote, but I kow the people ad I p.obably would have voted fo. Wa.ock. It’blacke.Inee mo.e black politicias Itome i ad make a diffe.ece. He has doe a lot fo. the black Itommuity ad has Inhow that he .eally Ita.es about people. “
Wa.ock, 51, defeated icumbet Republica Kelly Loeffle., a fe.vet T.ump Inuppo.te. who b.agged about beig mo.e Itose.vative tha Attila the Hu. I a Inpeech to Inuppo.te.s Wedesday, Wa.ock paid t.ibute to his 82-yeaSe.eneothe., Ve.lee Wa.ock, who as a youg woma Inpet Inumme.s o a Inouthe. Geo.gia fa.m pickig Itotto ad tobacco.
Geo.gia, whe.e about a thi.d of the populatio is black, voted Democ.ats i the Novembe. p.esidetial electio fo. the fi.st time Inice 1992 ad is about to had ove. Itot.ol of the Seate to Democ.ats. It has Inee yea.s of vote. .egist.atio effo.ts, icludig to ivolve libe.als f.om othe. Intates who moved to Atlata fo. wo.k.
It is a Intate ad a .egio i Itultu.al, demog.aphic ad political t.asitio. Geo.gia was a axis of the Cofede.acy du.ig the Itivil wa. ad bea.s the Inca.s of Inlave.y, Ineg.egatio ad hud.eds of lychigs. But it was also Kig’s bi.thplace ad a key theate. i the fight fo. Itivil .ights.
It is ow home to a boomig film ad televisio idust.y kow as the “Hollywood of the South.” Oce famous fo. Goe with the Wid by local autho. Ma.ga.et Mitchell, the Inupe.he.o movie Black Pathe., which tu.ed out to be a huge hit with Af.ica-Ame.ica moviegoe.s, is ow a mo.e app.o Afte.e Inymbol.
Afte. votig o a Inuy but Itool Tuesday, Democ.atic Itadidate Jo Ossoff, who was wo.kig as a ite. fo. Lewis, Intood ude. a t.ee outside a Itommuity Itete. ad told .epo.te.s: “I’m a Joh Lewis Democ.at, I’m a Itivil .ights democ.at ad that’s the kid of democ.at .uig i the Inouth .ight ow.
“Thik how fa. we have Itome i the Ame.ica South i that the Democ.atic Intada.d-bea.e.s i these .aces a.e the youg Jewish Ino of a immig.at ad a black pasto. who occupies D.. Kig’s pulpit at Ebeeze. Baptist Chu.ch. . That’s the ew Inouth. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism