Sunday, August 25, 2013

March on Washington 50-year anniversary

Photo: The Oklahoman, Jim Beckel

Peja West, 6, waves a pair of American flags above her head while dancing at the foot of the steps on the north side of the Capitol. West, from Spencer, came to the rally with her grandmother, mother and her baby sister.

A diverse crowd of about 300 people rallied on the north side of the State Capitol Saturday Aug. 24, 2013, to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington. Most of the crowd marched more than a mile from Stiles Park, walking up Lincoln Blvd., to the statehouse. Many in the crowd carried signs or banners, and some wore shirts bearing images of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered his impassioned oratory to a crowd of nearly 250,000 on the Washington Mall on Aug. 28, 1963.

At the time, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital. King's remarks to the crowd, now known as the "I Have A Dream" speech, brought a national focus to the civil rights struggle in America and is credited with being a large influence to secure enough votes in Congress for the passage of the Civil Rights Act the following year.

Youth see march anniversary as chance to lead
Associated Press
August 25, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mary-Pat Hector of Atlanta was operating much like a 1960s civil rights activist as she laid plans for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. She was constantly on the phone as she confirmed event details, tweaked the draft of the speech she gave at Saturday's rally at the Lincoln Memorial and prepared for a presentation.

Mary-Pat is 15 years old.

Just as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott at age 26, and Rep. John Lewis helped to lead freedom rides at 23, young Americans like Mary-Pat are not letting age get in the way as they seek more than a contributing role in the push for social reform...

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