2021 Regular Session
By: Representative Jackson
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND HISTORIC LEGACY OF SERVICE EVIDENCED BY THE ICONIC AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT ACTIVIST AND "FREEDOM RIDER," REVEREND CLYDE LAROCQUE CARTER, AND EXPRESSING GREATEST APPRECIATION FOR HIS MONUMENTAL SOCIETAL CONTRIBUTIONS.
WHEREAS, the world is a better place because of the existence of visionary leader, civil rights icon and champion of civil and social equality, the incomparable Reverend Clyde Larocque Carter, rightfully esteemed as the embodiment of a living history lesson on the juxtaposed relationship between civil rights and the Americanized mettle to achieve the American dream; and
WHEREAS, born on February 13, 1931, in Birmingham, Alabama, to Mr. James Henry Carter and Mrs. Lucretia Geter Carter, Reverend Carter, whose purpose as a peoples' champion was predestined from the very onset of his life, a civil rights activist, esteemed clergyman and peoples' champion, swore an allegiance to this nation after graduating from A.H. Parker High School, when he enlisted to serve the United States as a member of its elite Naval Forces, and upon the completion of his tour of duty, would commence his matriculation in pursuit of receiving a baccalaureate degree from Johnson C. Smith University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history; and
WHEREAS, a testamentary archetype of deferential pride and patron's call to activism, the spark that ignited Reverend Carter's flame, causing him to pick up and shoulder the mantle for civil rights and social justice came clothed in the form of prejudicial treatment while attempting to have a meal in Texas with three of his fellow uniformed Caucasian shipmates, which resulted in his denial of service and ultimate departure from the establishment alone; and
WHEREAS, that dining experience planted the seed of advocacy, which was ultimately watered and nurtured to maturity during his time as a student at Johnson C. Smith University, where young activists had been galvanized to engage in peaceful demonstrations to dismantle the banner of segregation, racially disparate treatment and social inequality, and where, in his roles as president of the Student Government Association and president of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, he, along with others, organized the student body and the community to lead the sit-ins and boycotts in Charlotte; and
WHEREAS, zealous in his advocacy for political activism and civil rights, the trajectory of Reverend Carter's life changed forever when he, and fellow Johnson C. Smith University student, Claude Jones, upon completing semester final exams, boarded a bus on a day in May 1961, which afforded him the historic honor of becoming a permanent fixture of the Civil Rights Movement, as a "Freedom Rider"; and
WHEREAS, Reverend Carter's purpose ultimately manifested itself into an epic adventure of selfless devotion as a vocal proponent for the voiceless and erasing the invisible lines of injustice and the marginalization of African Americans, as his activism positioned him to march and be arrested with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy, Reverend Wyatt T. Walker, the forefathers and keepers of the Civil Rights Movement's flame, and professors from Yale, Wesleyan and Harvard Universities; and
WHEREAS, having been attempted to be silenced by unsubstantiated arrests and oppressive inhumane conditions of incarceration at Parchman, Mississippi, one of the nation's most notorious penitentiaries, before being subsequently released and placed on a federal plane and flown back to Charlotte, Reverend Carter's voice and call to progressive activism for social reform remained unstifled; and
WHEREAS, undeterred by defeat, Reverend Carter continued to blaze trails as an efficacious agent of change, which traced back to his spiritual upbringing as a young child sitting on the steps of the old Miller Memorial Presbyterian Church on Wednesday nights, listening to the choir rehearse for Sunday morning worship service, an experience that would come full circle in his life in his role as an ordained Presbyterian minister; and
WHEREAS, holding a Masters in Divinity from Samford University and Doctorate of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary, Reverend Carter is the longest serving African-American minister in the Presbyterian Church, and is the first person to receive the title of Honorably Retired Pastor Emeritus of Westminster Presbyterian Church; and
WHEREAS, Reverend Carter's curriculum vitae of social activism continues to transcend the barriers of race, education, religious preference and socio-economic status, to establish a legacy of respect, success and an unmitigated rapport with those who hold him in high esteem and seek his wise counsel; and
WHEREAS, the caliber of Reverend Carter's essence as a distinguished individual by design, who established virtuosity and service as an ambitious and intrepid leader, can best be defined by a famous quote of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which states, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy"; and
WHEREAS, a God-fearing Christian before all other roles he assumes, a doting husband to Eva Carter, and protective and caring father to Kay and Kris, Reverend Carter, who served as a chaplain for the Veteran's Administration Hospital, possesses an ambitious spirit akin to that of King David, as he was a man who sought the very heart of God and demonstrated great faith and commitment to Jesus Christ; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to recognize and commend the life and enduring legacy of such an impressive individual of Reverend Carter's humble prestige, and whose life, like a glowing ceremonial flame in the pomp and circumstance of a sacred tribal consecration, leaps and dances in ritualistic form to the night wind's time and cadence, continues to permeate the atmosphere with the fragrant aromatics of hope and inspiration:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and celebrate the life and historic legacy of service evidenced by the iconic American Civil Rights Movement activist and "Freedom Rider," Reverend Clyde Larocque Carter, and express greatest appreciation for his monumental societal contributions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Reverend Clyde Larocque Carter and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.