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Local Officials Discuss March On Washington, 50 Years On

Though commemorations of the 1963 March on Washington have been ongoing since the weekend, they hit a crescendo Wednesday.

Local officials marked the day with a series of speeches by local officials and guests at Florida A&M University. Holding a copy of the original program for the day, Connie Evans, who was present at the March five decades ago, read from a list of 10 issues that marked the march.

“A massive federal program to train and place all workers, negro and white... jobs with decent wages...a national minimum wage—we were fighting to get $2 an hour...aint that something?" She said.

FAMU Professor James Moran’s annual recitation of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” Speech echoed from the balcony of Lee Hall.

When asked whether many of the tenants of King’s dream have been realized, Evans said, “Discrimination, jobs, wages, fair treatment of all people, the judicial system...they still exist.”  

Participants referenced Trayvon Martin as they highlighted perceived disparities in the judicial system. They also criticized the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down parts of the 1964 Civil Rights Law and the 1965 Voting Rights Act—two pieces of legislation resulted from the movement Dr. King led.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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