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National Vice President Augusta Thomas Remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

AFGE NVP/WFPD Augusta Thomas at AFL-CIO MLK reception with actor Terrence Howard

Thousands of people are traveling to the Nation’s Capital this weekend to participate in the official dedication ceremony of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. Not many people can say they had the pleasure of being childhood friends with the late civil rights leader, but AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practices Director, Augusta Thomas can.

In the midst of the 48th anniversary of King’s historical “I Have a Dream” speech and the dedication of King’s Memorial on the National Mall, Thomas recalls playing with King or “Little Martin” as she referred to him, at his childhood home.

Thomas had gone with her uncle to King’s family home where a group of ministers were having a meeting. Thomas and her sister were playing a game but needed another player so they asked King ­. He refused.

To get back at “Little Martin” for refusing to play, Thomas did what any child would do. “I locked him in the furnace room,” she said. By the time he got out, he was ready to play. Thomas’ plan worked.

Thomas’ place in history doesn’t stop there. She participated in the famous sit-in at the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she was spat on, knocked down, and arrested.

Both AFGE and NVP Thomas remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during this historical occasion.

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