Here my mother is consoled by a family member having just experienced a rush of emotions from that historical day in 1963. My mother marched on Washington in 1963 to create an opportunity for those who hadn’t been born yet.
SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST
The “March” to commemorate the The 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington is now but a memory. The speeches provided by those other than keynote speakers were succinct, largely because they would cut off speakers at the 5 minute mark. Yet somehow the major points were conveyed nontheless.
The fact that hundreds of thousands were obligated to convene at the Reflecting Pool beneath the feet of President Abraham Lincoln on Saturday August 24, 2013 speaks volumes to the urgency needed to rectify issues that remain nightmares to the people of this country. The right to live freely is the undeliable right for all, yet many female, black and brown citizens living under this red, white and blue banner still reside within the confines of:
-unequal pay for equal work
-unequal access to adequate education
-Stand YOUR GROUND laws
-inordinant and unfair incarceration of black and brown men
-job insecurity based on budget cuts and unfair labor practices
-racial profiling within judicial and educational institutions
-A need for immediate Voter’s Act amendment
-fair treatment of ALL human beings (including but not limited to the LGBQT community, and immigrants)
-sensible gun control laws
-solid and effectual Immigration reform
-effectual Education reform
-Get BIG BUSINESS OUT OF OUR POCKETS & OFF OF THE POLITICAL DOCKETS!
-Broken systems that govern the ever evolving people.
The list is a revolving door depending on the residents region.
Let it be known that the condition of humankind living with the United States has improved overall. Given what had been endured by various populations, prior to the Civil Rights movement, things have definitely gotten better. The lightened tone and temperament of the 2013 March was evidence of just how far we have come. The weight of being hosed by those sworn to protect and serve for speaking your truth, was not there. Nor was the duress of being shot, lynched, raped or dismembered for exercising the right to vote, lumbering within the souls of victims. However, the recent Supreme Court ruling that disemboweled the Voter’s Rights Act, was a point of contention at the rally.
Note the use of the word rally not march.
We are less likely to encounter black men hanging and burning from nooses, yet we are still enduring Stand Your Ground laws and Voter ID registration that strike resounding resemblance to Jim Crow laws. We still watch the news in terror as black on black crime takes its own life without regard over senseless reasons.
The people can commune in hotels and other common areas, but we still encounter disparity in socio economic stratifiers. Impoverished, “at-risk” and low income families have less access than more economically viable families/individuals. The latter causes less access to higher education and other resources made available to those with monetary influence. The speeches were stirring but sterile. The point of fact approach speaks to the receptivity of this generation and era. At one point my eyes surveyed those surrounding me. Amidst the sea of concentration were those on telephones with whomever wasn’t in attendance speaking loudly, those playing what seemed to be neverending video games, those solving crossword puzzles from the newspaper they grabbed on the way in, and those more focused on feeding their bellies than feeding their moral imperative. The distractions were too easy.
“Get to it”. There weren’t any speeches that compared to the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I HAVE A DREAM speech (1963). Soon to be Senator Corey Booker was poignant and transparent. He was accurate and wasted no time telling the people how to check themselves first before trying to correct ‘outside’ trepidation. Democratic Representative,John Lewis reminded the assembly to “Make Noise…Get in the way”.
Rep. John Lewis is the only surviving speaker from the original 1963 event, said the most brutal days of the civil rights struggle “for the most part are gone.” But he said the struggle for a more perfect America goes on.
“We cannot give up. We cannot give out. And we cannot give in,” Lewis said, urging that crucial elements of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court be placed back into law by Congress.
“The vote is precious. It’s almost sacred,” he said.
and Nancy Pelosi presented but she too was cut off in the middle of her delivery. She marched in 1963 and spoke of continuing the fight for women’s rights within our country.
chastised a society that he said leaves these young men without a moral compass. “We need to give them dreams again, not to worry about sagging pants, but sagging morality,” Sharpton said. “If we told them who they could be and what they could do, they would pull up their pants and get to work.”
Yes this was a beautiful assembly of people purposed to change some things…or not. The heir of indifference was palpable. It was an experience of a lifetime to have shared the second go round with my mother who had marched in the first March 50 years previously.
If movement is to occur we must make our voices/tweets heard. Contact your local Senator, Congressperson, and/or Representative to put the issues on the table.