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MLK Day speaker uses personal anecdote to remind us of civil-rights’ cycle of good, then bad

PETERSBURG – The day before insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol to block the certification of President Joe Biden’s election, Rep. Jennifer McClellan was flipping through the Bible of her late father when she found something that later “struck home to me” the cycle of civil-rights progression and regression.

Dr. James McClellan, a professor at Virginia State College/University pastored a church just down the street from where McClellan was addressing a packed house Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“He kept everything. He never threw anything away, so I was not surprised to find the envelope,” McClellan said of her dad, who died in 2014. “But I was surprised by what I found inside,” she said.