March On Washington 2020 -Whew! Where do I start? On last Thursday I had the honor to pack up and head to Washington, D.C. with our media team along with Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 57th Anniversary of his “I Have A Dream Speech” in Washington. D.C.. This was my first road trip since the Pandemic and what an experience. Words can’t really express the aura that you experience during a moment of history. This was indeed a once in a lifetime experience.
March On Washington 57 Years Ago……
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a vision and a dream. On August 28, 1963, sources estimated that there was about a quarter-million people who participated in the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom gathering near the Lincoln Memorial. It was reported that more than 3,000 members of the press covered this historic march. To many this was one of the most historical events of their lifetime. People gathered from all over the world both at the Lincoln Memorial and in front of their televisions to hear Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
A. Phillip Randolph and Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, who originally conceived the March on Washington evolved into a collaborative effort amongst major civil rights groups and icons of the day.
“By the late 1950s, Dr. King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were also planning to march on Washington, this time to march for freedom. As the years passed on, the Civil Rights Act was still stalled in Congress, and equality for Americans of color still seemed like a far-fetched dream.
Randolph, his chief aide, Bayard Rustin, and Dr. King all decided it would be best to combine the two causes into one mega-march, the March for Jobs and Freedom. NAACP, headed by Roy Wilkins, was called upon to be one of the leaders of the march.
As one of the largest and most influential civil rights groups at the time, NAACP harnessed the collective power of its members, organizing a march that was focused on the advancement of civil rights and the actualization of Dr. King’s dream.” (www.naacp.com).
The Big Six
“A quarter-million people strong, the march drew activists from far and wide. Leaders of the six prominent civil rights groups at the time joined forces in organizing the march.
The group included Randolph, leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP; Dr. King, Chairman of the SCLC; James Farmer, founder of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); John Lewis, President of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); and Whitney Young, Executive Director of the National Urban League.
Dr. King, originally slated to speak for 4 minutes, went on to speak for 16 minutes, giving one of the most iconic speeches in history.” (www.naacp.com).
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.”
MARCH ON WASHINGTON 2020
Fast forward to August 28th making history! As I stated in the beginning of my post that I had the honor to be apart of history. Last weekend my Pastor, Jamal Harrison Bryant was amongst GREAT LEGENDS such as Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III and thousands of people in attendance. From the moment that my foot touched the ground upon departing from our vehicle there was a sense of unity. Imagine walking up Constitution Avenue and immediately seeing some of the beautiful brown people in the world. We are some of the most beautifulest people that God created. The feeling of seeing a fellow natural sister sporting her beautiful Nappy Hair unapologetically is a whole different level. The idea of seeing thousands of beautiful women joined in unity one for one common goal. There was no negativity just positive vibes all over the Lincoln Mall.
There were literally thousands of people lined along the streets, walk ways and entrance to the monument. As time passed the anticipation built amongst the attendees. As the gates opened to enter there was a plethora of people from every ethnicity walking in unity together as they entered the March on Washington. There wasn’t a empty hand in sight as every marcher proudly showcased their hand made signs, Black Lives Matter graphic t-shirts, book bags and even personalized balloons. In addition to adults attending there were also children standing in unity with their parents as well as teenagers excited to be apart of the movement.
As the day progressed there were a plethora of speakers who took the stage. For all of us from the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Media Team we were super excited to see our amazing Pastor, Jamal Harrison Bryant take the stage and give his life once in a lifetime speech during this monumental moment in history. His speech also landmarked 57 years from when his Father, Bishop John Bryant marched on Washington with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The fight continues! Together as a people we must all come together to fight against racism, police brutality, unlawful convictions, eliminate unnecessary murders and suppression of voters. As a people we must continue to fight for equality. Everyone can do their part. It doesn’t matter how small or large everything that we do can make a difference.