A 50 Year Old Dream ...

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (l-1963, r-2013)

Jeff Foreman, Director of Policy

America’s celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and the iconic Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech. Care for the Homeless was able to take 10 of our client leaders to the anniversary celebration on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

It was an uplifting experience. Now those participants in that historic anniversary are using their reactions to talk about that “Dream” and their dream for America. Two Care for the Homeless client leaders were present for both the 1963 March and the March last month. One of them, David Broxton, said “it might seem we’re still marching for the same things, like good jobs, affordable housing and voting rights, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been progress.”

Bill Bryant, the other client leader who attended both events, was in the military and stationed near Washington in August of 1963. A New York City native, he said he had seen racism and the Jim Crow attitude more in the service from southern soldiers than he ever had growing up, and so “the experience of being in that crowd, black and white together, and the feeling of togetherness” made a lasting impression on him. The anniversary march was very different, Bryant said “but that feeling of togetherness was the same.”

To Philip Malebranche the anniversary underscored that Dr. King’s mission wasn’t just about race. “It was very much about economic problems, like a living wage and jobs, and that’s what Dr. King was working on at his death.”

Garrett McMahon agreed. “It’s about race, but it’s all about class, too.” 

“It was a long walk,” Ava Connor said, meaning both progress on the dream of a society without discrimination and the actual walk last month in Washington. “But I loved every step of it.”

Discussion Series: We're Still Marching

The Care for the Homeless group that participated in the March is presenting a series of discussions this October. Others attending the March included Calvin Alston, Johnny Hernandez, Vilna Miller, Raymond West and Anthony Williams. Care for the Homeless staff at the March included CFH Executive Director Bobby Watts, Michelle Rowland and Jeff Foreman.

Join us for an informal discussion series at Care for the Homeless. If you want to be included, contact CFH Policy Director Jeff Foreman at (212) 366-4459 or jforeman@cfhnyc.org.         

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