John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Andrew Young Reflect On March On Washington 50 Years Ago

6:49 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
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Gannett station WXIA in Atlant got reflections from men who were there for the first March on Washington: Rep. John Lewis, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington in 1963, Rev. Josephy Lowery and Andrew Young, a former UN Ambassador

(USA Today)-- The 1963 March on Washington was a watershed moment in the American civil rights movement because it was attended by 250,000 people, graced by King's speech at the Lincoln Memorial and followed by the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Several changes are evident 50 years later. For instance, women are playing a more visible role in the march, just as they are in today's world. Also, issues such as immigration reform will be discussed. Activists will use technology and social media to connect people and causes.

One woman told the paper she plans to take her 10-year-old grandson to Saturday's march, which will be convened by Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. She's hoping her grandson will learn to speak up about poverty, voter rights and unemployment rates, among other things. Her thoughts echo others who plan to attend the march.

Myriad concerns are motivating people to demonstrate through the streets of Washington. Some want to see self-defense laws changed after a jury found Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman innocent of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Others say they want unemployment and poverty rates lowered and more job opportunities for working-class people. Still more say they are concerned about voter rights after the Supreme Court in June struck down a coverage formula in the 1965 Voting Rights Act used to monitor states with a history of discrimination.

People from all around the country are attending events to mark the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. WFMY News 2 spoke with Yvette Bailey of Greensboro who made the trip Friday.

Sources: WXIA, USA Today

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