Annual ‘Ebony’s March’ is this Saturday

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

BARBARA WILLIFORD, the mother of the late Ebony Clarke, leads the march last year at Willis Park. This year’s march will be Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. at the Bainbridge Housing Authority.|File photo

The mother of the late Ebony Clarke, a Bainbridge woman who was shot to death outside her Broughton Street apartment in 2008, hopes people will come join her in rallying against violence.

Clarke died on Aug. 10, 2008, after being caught in the line of fire of a man who was shooting at another man during a street fight. Clarke, who was 21, left behind an infant son, Ty’on, or “Ty,” who is now 4 years old.

This Friday evening at 6 p.m., the organizers of “Ebony’s March,” now in its fourth year, will hold a candlelight prayer vigil at the gazebo in Willis Park.

Email newsletter signup

“The vigil will be a tribute to children who were lost too soon,” said Barbara Williford, Clarke’s mother. “Anyone who has lost a child or even a loved one can come and light a candle and prayers will be said for them.”

Then on Saturday morning at 10 a.m., Clarke’s mother and supporters will lead a march from the Bainbridge Housing Authority at 108 Sims St. to Willis Park in downtown Bainbridge. A program at the park will follow.

This is the first year Ebony’s March has been on a Saturday and the first time it’s been held in the morning. Williford said she hopes that will make it easier for people to attend, especially if it’s not as hot outside.

Even still, Williford and her helpers are prepared: fans will be set up and there will be free water and food for people who attend. The event will feature inspirational music and praise dancing, as well as members of the community speaking about what is being done to prevent and deter crime, Williford said.

There will also be speakers talking about how to deal with grief, she said.

Williford adopted Ty. Just as Williford shows her grandson pictures of his mother to help him remember, she says she hopes the community will remember her daughter’s legacy by supporting efforts against drugs and gang activity in Bainbridge.

“This is not just about Ebony anymore, it’s about how we can prevent what happened to Ebony from happening to someone else’s child,” Williford said. “There are still street gangs in Bainbridge and there is still violence surrounding us.”