BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - August 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Baton Rouge played a key role in launching the Civil Rights Movement.
Small sit-in's and bus boycotts in Baton Rouge led to larger national protests. The march came to be a turning point for civil rights in our country. It was leaders of churches in the African-American community who helped organize the march a half-century ago.
Civil rights leaders and others gathered at Greater King David Baptist Church in north Baton Rouge to tell their stories of the march and Dr. Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech.
On August 28 1963, nearly 200,000 people of different races and religions flocked to Washington DC for the march meant to bring attention to the job and civil rights inequalities plaguing the country at that time. It left a huge impression on many there, including a current state senator from Georgia.
"I was taught civics, democracy and freedom and liberty and justice for all," said Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta (GA). "That march lifted you to the fact that we didn't have liberty and justice for all."
Speakers and entertainers performed and gave speeches, challenging the multitudes to keep fighting for change. The most memorable moment was when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. took to the podium. Parts of his speech have resonated through time.
"My four little children will one day live in a nation where they are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character...I have a dream," he stated.
Now 50 years later, Americans and King's daughter remember that march and other events where people risked so much to spark social change.
"One day right there in Alabama, little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and little white girls as sisters and brothers...I have a dream today," he said.
There have been events taking place this week to remember the march. A group of people is headed to Washington DC this weekend for a march celebrating the anniversary of the one in 1963.