Local/State

Local leaders mark 50th anniversary of King's speech

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday marks one of the most monumental events in the civil rights struggle.

The March on Washington for jobs and freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history.

Hundreds packed the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham for a service Tuesday evening.

Rev. Dr. William Barber, the president of the state's chapter of the NAACP, many of its members and the "Forward Together Movement" attended.

They talked about the impact of the original March on Washington 50 years ago led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the significance of this anniversary and the message it conveys.

Before that, they prayed for everyone participating, and the mission of marking this milestone.

The NAACP scheduled "Take the Dream Home" rallies late Wednesday afternoon in each of the state's 13 congressional districts.

Participants say the rallies keep with King's call at the end of his speech to go home and organize.

"Dr. King went to D.C. to dramatize the shameful conditions in the states, but he knew to change the nation you have to change states, you've got to work at home," said Barber. "And so yes there has been progress but the problem in North Carolina right now are people who are on the wrong side of history who want backward in history rather than forward."

The NAACP was specifically referring to various pieces of new legislation including the state's new voter ID law.

They say Wednesday's march is a reminder and launching pad to register new voters.

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