Civil rights icon delivers keynote speech at Wilmington’s March on Washington 59th Anniversary


WIILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – On August 28, 59-years ago a historic event helped African Americans gain the right to vote, about 250,000 attended the March on Washington, which was the day Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.Two years later the voting rights act of 1965 passed — giving African Americans the right to vote.People joined together for an anniversary celebration at the 1898 Memorial Park in Wilmington Sunday.

Floyd McKissick Jr. was 10-years-old when his father, McKissick Sr. was at the March on Washington and has fond of memories of his father.

“He was leader of congress for racial equality, probably the largest civil rights back in 1960’s, he had over 240 chapters in 42 states,” said McKissick Jr. “He spoke at the historic March on Washington, he was one of the 10 civil rights leaders that spoke that day, and who also met with President Kennedy.”

McKissick felt honored to be invited to Wilmington as keynote speaker.

“It’s important for me to be here,” he said.  “I felt that this was a particular commemoration I wanted to participate in.”

Sonya Bennetone-Patrick with The North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus said, having someone like McKissick speak was an enlightening experience.

“We live in a world full of chaos and drama, there are still people who believe in justice, unity, morality and are willing to come together and stand for it,” she said. “Just an honor and imperative to have a legacy with us here today.”

For more information on where and when to vote in the November 8 elections click here, a Congressional Redistrict District Plan map can be found here.

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