The kick off began at Fred Atkins Park, April 17th, at 5pm. It was a very nice day - not to hot or windy. It began with a prayer that so many are all familiar with. Our grandmothers especially always believed in prayer. They believed that prayer changes things.
Next a libation was shared with our ancestors asking for their blessings and permission to continue with our dreams, hopes and prayers. A their names were shouted out one by one, we all felt the presents of our forefathers that built Newtown from the ground up. How they had to struggles and fight for what they believed in. They were such proud folks, even though they did not have much, they had each other.
Residents were asked to share their stories of what living in Newtown has meant to them. Everyone, had love in their hearts and a smile on their face as they shared their story. Remembering when 27th Street now Dr. Martin Luther King Way (MLK) was a lucrative thriving business district, where one could go and shop for everything they needed.
I was born and raised in Newtown and living in Newtown for me has meant so much. We grew up on love. Our parents raised us with good old-fashioned values, respect, dignity and pride. I know everyone has gifts and talents, and there is no one we do not need. There are no throw away people.
Our Ancestors already paved the way for us. They showed us how to turn MLK into a business corridor.
Back then they supported each other, they bought each other goods. They trusted each other and they became friends. My father the late Arthur Butler was a fruit picker and he started doing what he knows how to do best - picking and selling fruit. He would travel all over Florida because he knew where the best watermelons grew. He knew every business man & women in Newtown; he would stop by their store just to say hi.