Memphians Get Ready for March on Washington

Memphians Get Ready for March on Washington

Reliving and rededicating the "March on Washington" 50 years later.
MEMPHIS, TN-- Reliving and rededicating the "March on Washington" 50 years later. Local civil rights leaders say the country has come a long way but there's a lot more work ahead. In 1963 the focus was on jobs and freedom. The mission 50 years later: reestablishing key points in the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court voted down earlier this year.

More than 40 Memphians will get on a bus at the civil rights museum this Thursday to be part of the "March on Washington.” In 1963 about 300,000 people from across the country attended. This year, organizers are trying to make it even bigger.

"The organizers are trying to get a million people marching," said Memphis NAACP Executive Director Madeleine Taylor.

50 years later civil rights activists find themselves fighting for the same thing.

"The supreme court took away the penalties for violating the voters rights act," said Taylor. "So here we go back to Washington to ask congress to reestablish section 4 and section 5 in the voters rights act."

Elaine Taylor with Heritage Tours is partnering with the National Civil Rights Museum and the Memphis NAACP to coordinate this year's March on Washington. She did the same thing 50 years ago.

"I never thought I was going to be there 50 years later but it's a good feeling and to take other people to see this historic event," said Taylor.

Pastor James Netters of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church was there.

"It was so exciting, never calmed down from it and I'm still not calmed down from it," said Pastor Netters.

Netters says Memphis has made tremendous progress but it's far from over.

"There's still that tension of segregation and discrimination in the hearts of both blacks and whites. We've got to move that way someway, somehow because this city will never grow to be very much until we come together as one city, one county," said Pastor Netters.

Today was the last day to register to get on the bus. August 28th marks the official "March on Washington" and that is when the National Civil Rights Museum will hold a free concert at the courtyard. There will be a mix of poplar movement songs, diverse speakers, and American Idol performers. Free tickets are available at the museum only. Seating begins at 2pm and the concert runs from 4pm-8pm.
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