Saturday, March 17, 2018

Racial Equality Honor Heeds God’s Timing

January 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles


I got a call while traveling one morning. The man on the other end of the phone said he wanted information about my late father, the Rev. C.J. Whitaker. This man was hoping to honor him.

Well, well, well.

My father, a Baptist pastor and civil rights, civic and political leader, died in 1986. This call came in 2013.

I thought my father should have been honored long ago, but, it didn’t really happen. Not like I thought it should.

God had other plans.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (New King James Version)

Rev. C. J. Whitaker in 1984  




I thought my father should have been honored because he made history. He was the first African American to lead the Richland County, S.C., Democratic Party, in the 1970s. I was in my 20s when he died, but during the time I knew him, he had made a huge impact on my life and the life of many people.

 The man who called me had heard about the impact my father had made. The man was helping Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin with a year-long commemoration of the year 1963, which is considered the year segregation ended.

The “Columbia SC 63” project looked back at the civil rights struggle and assessing racial progress 50 years later. The mayor of Birmingham, Ala., invited Columbia to participate. Other cities participating include Selma, Ala.; Montgomery, Ala.; Jackson, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Washington, D.C.

The man said he wanted my father to be one of the people the “Columbia SC 63” project honored.

I was elated, but wondered how he could be honored 27 years later. Many of my father’s contemporaries were dead. One key figure in my father’s history died a few weeks before the scheduled event honoring him was to occur. So, who could speak about him?

Little did I know people still speak about Rev. Whitaker, even today. I learned people younger than me still remember him. People whom he helped as a pastor and civil rights, civic and political leader still remember him. What an honor!

At first I was upset that my father had not been honored years ago. But after the event honoring my father occurred, I was overwhelmed with awe. My father has been honored for 27 years, in the hearts and minds of young and old.

God had other plans. My life was altered drastically when my father died 27 years ago. But my father lives on today in heaven and his legacy continues on earth. Thank you, God, for being in charge and bringing honor to those who honor you.


Editor’s Note:

Donna Rogers was a panelist at the event “On the Battlefield: Reverend C. J. Whitaker & the North Columbia Civic Club” in 2013. She is the curator of Rev. Whitaker’s legacy. Donna has written a biographical poem about Rev. Whitaker in her book “Timeline: One Black Woman’s Journey Through Life.”

Read the newspaper article previewing the event and touching on the life of the Rev. Whitaker at!


Donna-Rogers-150x150 Donna Rogers is a veteran media expert and poet who has a heart for worshiping God and helping others overcome obstacles in life through poetry and inspirational writing. She has written two books of poetry and numerous inspirational writings that include stories of how God works in the lives of people who trust Him and seek Him. Donna is married to Ron Rogers, a political cartoonist and illustrator who has illustrated Donna’s book covers and greeting cards. She is working on more books, including some venturing outside poetry. You can reach her at or on Twitter on @MzXpert.

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