I had the honor this past weekend being present at the 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington. It was an enlightening and inspiring experience. At a reception after a C-SPAN taped Town Hall Meeting, I had the opportunity to converse with Hank Thomas, one of the original 1963 Freedom Riders. The stories he related were simply amazing. As a matter of fact, one of his stories is being featured in the critically acclaimed movie, “Lee Daniel‘s The Butler.” Mr. Thomas is a humble, successful and intelligent gentleman. We need more individuals like Mr. Thomas in this world. I also had the opportunity to listen to the Honorable Congressman John Lewis’ remarks at the Town Hall Meeting which was hosted by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (PBS). Every time Congressman Lewis, who is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., speaks he commands respect. He was the youngest speaker 50 years ago at the 1963 March on Washington. His insights on what must be accomplished today are illuminating. Even though I met Congressman Lewis before, being in his presence is always a humbling moment. I was inspired speaking with Congressman Lewis and Mr. Thomas, two living legends. At the 2013 March On Washington rally, our, (PBS), International President, Jonathan A. Mason, gave a standout speech which was well received by the enthusiastic attendees. I was motivated witnessing his historic moment. Being in the company of over 800 members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. was exhilarating. The reception at PBS’s headquarters – after the march – was an event I will always remember; it was a very festive and lively event.
The 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington was an inspirational event. I saw and spoke with people from different ethnicities, religions, ages and socio-economic backgrounds. It was a rally for the people, coordinated by the people. It was refreshing to note all of the young individuals who were present at the 2013 March On Washington. I left Washington D.C. full of hope for the future of the United States of America (USA). We have come a long way as a country, but there is much more work to be done.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s 1963 March On Washington speech lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of USA citizens. Last evening, my friend, Tecumseh Shackelford, was honored at “A Unity Day Concert” at the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. He was one of five individuals, who were each presented the “Spirit of the Dream” award. The five Members of Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gave the awards to Tecumseh and the four other awardees from their respective districts. One of the highlights of the evening activities was the setting of Dr. King’s landmark speech, “I Have A Dream,” to music played and sung by The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Chorus with Charles Dickerson serving as the Conductor.
Dr. King’s dream lives on.