WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — This week, people across the nation commemorated the day hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters swarmed Washington and demanded change.
It was also the day Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous speech, “I have a dream.”
In Wilmington, our local chapter of Black Lives Matter and the National Black Leadership Caucus held a ceremony at the 1898 memorial, and a program over Zoom.
There, people who attended the 1963 march recounted that fateful day, and what it means now.
“The history of that march is different than what has been told,” said Al McSurely, a civil rights lawyer. “It’s not a history about dreaming. It’s a history about forcing Washington to do something.”
But the program didn’t only focus on the past. Change seemed to weave its way into the very fabric of each presentation.
“Anything you refuse to change, you choose. Anything….you refuse to change…you choose,” emphasized James Faison, a district court judge.
Local civil rights leaders and award-winning writers chose not to linger on old memories, and instead used their experiences to frame their present challenges.
Cash Michaels, the event’s MC stated, “We’ve come a long way in this country, but we’ve got a long, long way to go. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.”
Speakers pointed out that though part of Martin Luther King’s dream became a reality, the only way to defeat racism once and for all is to keep fighting for the same change protesters reached for 57 years ago in Washington D.C.