Reflections on the MLK 50th Anniversary March



August 28, 2013 was the best day of my life and best day of school so far. My Journalism class and I experienced a history making moment at the 50th Anniversary march on Washington. This took place downtown Washington D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial. We traveled there by metro because no one could drive due to road blockage that was a 2 mile radius from the march. The reason we were there was to commemorate the original March on Washington led by Martin Luther King March in 1963.

It was really interesting that I had the opportunity to experience a part of history. All of my classmates had different roles and my role was to interview people and find out why they were there. I interviewed a man in his late 30’s named John Giles. The information I gathered from him was that he had been a part of history all throughout his years.  He then said that we as citizens and African Americans are not free just yet.  “I am here for every Man that could not make it today.”, Giles proudly expressed.   At that moment, I understood that we, the black youth of today, were making change in history as we prepared to listen to president Obama, the first African American president of the United States.  I really wanted to know the difference between the original March on Washington in 1963 and the march of today.

The march was amazing and intense. I was surrounded by thousands of people who I didn’t know at all for at least 3 hours. There was no personal space and a lot of elderly people fainted while waiting to get through the security lines.  I really wanted to leave but as I got closer and closer I knew that I was about to be a part of history and it made me realize this is something no one can take from me and this is something that I will be able to tell my kids.

While I am grateful for the experience, I don’t think that I will be attending anymore marches.  I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy myself, I just don’t think that I can go back through what I experienced that day.

Tatania Brown is a senior and Jordan Williams is a junior at the Academies of Anacostia.