Citizens are set to gather on Wednesday for the “March for Jobs and Justice” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.
The March will be more than a mile long and follow a detailed route of landmarks led by veterans of the ’63 march.
“Personally, I think it’s pretty cool and a display of how far we’ve come,” junior Eniola Orenuga said.
“It’s a testament to Dr. King’s dream.”
The procession will begin at 9 a.m. at 600 New Jersey Ave. in Washington, D.C. and conclude at the Lincoln Memorial.
One of the most anticipated moments will be President Barack Obama speaking in the exact spot where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” 50 years ago on Aug. 28, 1963.
“Some people might think it’s blasphemous and will think [Obama] will come off as vain, but I disagree,” Orenuga explained.
The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was organized by civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, with a great deal of publicity leading up to August 28.
The original emphasis was on creating jobs for the African American community and civil rights.
Fifty years later there has been tremendous progress on the civil rights side, but there is still work to be done job wise.
“On one side, there’s enormous progress that has been made because obviously we have Barack Obama as a president and we’ve had several civil rights acts,” explained history professor David Johnson. “On the jobs side, things aren’t a whole lot better for black people than they were back then, and there are reasons for that.”
One of Johnson’s reasons is the increase of children born to single parents from about 20 percent in the 1960s compared to 70 percent today.
Despite the hardship, this upcoming reenactment of the March on Washington shows that the nation still cares about justice in America and is willing to work toward change.
For more information about the upcoming march, visit www.50thanniversarymarchonwashington.com.