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African Diaspora Participates in March on Washington 50th Anniversary

Dr. Sylvester Okere, Executive Director of the Continental Africa Leadership Forum (pictured with Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. III) joined a roster of speakers last Saturday (August 24th) at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. He spoke on behalf of the African immigrant community in the United States and stressed the importance of fixing America’s broken immigration system.

MLK-lllOther speakers including King III, Sharpton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. addressed race relations in optimistic terms, describing America’s progress as encouraging but incomplete, but they also delved at times into more controversial fare like the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. They spoke from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where 50 years ago this month King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Martin Luther King III paid tribute to his father’s legacy. “Five decades ago my father stood upon this hallowed spot” and “crystallized like never before the painful pilgrimage and aching
aspirations of African-Americans yearning to breathe free.”

Tens of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington to listen to political and civil rights leaders reflect on the legacy of racial progress over the last half-century. They urged Americans to press forward in pursuit of King’s dream of equality.

The march was called for by Martin Luther King, III and organized by Communities Without Boundaries International (CWBI), and the National Action Network (NAN). The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) were partners, amongst other organizations.