At the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, a host of dignitaries lined the stage situated at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Under clear blue skies, leaders discussed why they’re still marching a half century later.
Martin Luther King Jr. III took the stage roughly at 12:43 pm. In a tone that eerily mirrored his father’s, he discussed how America needs a new plan to provide jobs in the wake of a struggling economy.
He also called for the end of senseless violence around the country.
“My father [Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.] sought the blood of the community. No more Newtowns, no more Columbines and no more violence in Chicago,” he said. “We need to keep on walking, keep on talking and keep on educating.”
Shortly thereafter, National Action Network (NAN) leader Al Sharpton took the stage and opened by discussing the struggles Black participants in the ’63 march faced just to make it to the Nation’s Capital.
“Fifty years ago, some came to Washington and rode on the back of the bus. Some couldn’t stay in hotel rooms and had to sleep in cars,” he said.
He later urged generations young and old to come together and fight for injustices and social ills around the nation.
After Sharpton’s speech the crowd exploded in applause and cheers.
(Photo: Hundreds of people paying respects to Martin Luther King at his memorial in Washington, D.C. AFRO Photo)