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Friday, August 9,2013

50 years later

Lansing delegation traveling to D.C. later this month for a reenactment of the March on Washington

by Deborah Walker
March on Washington, 1963. Courtesy photo.

Friday, Aug. 9 — A delegation from greater Lansing is traveling to Washington at the end of the month for a reenactment of the historic 1963 March on Washington and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.


Coordinated by the 16-member Greater Lansing Area Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission, those attending the event say this is a way for today’s generation to uphold the legacy that changed the country.


“That speech, those famous words by Dr. King, are a part of the fabric of our world history,” said Elaine Hardy, chairwoman of the MLK commission. “It was those words from that day that launched a mass movement towards civil rights and equality for people across the globe.”


The reenactment coincides with the 50th anniversary of the event, which brought in hundreds of thousands of people calling for civil rights for African Americans. Hardy said the true conditions of that time may have been lost on this generation.


“We take for granted that we’re able to go to any store that we want, sleep in any hotel that we want, live in any home we want. When Dr. King said those words, that was not the case for all Americans,” she said.


The commission hopes that the bus ride will capture the experience of the 1963 march.


“One of the reasons why we’re taking the bus is because we want to emulate the experience of the people who went down in 1963. … They did everything that they could to make it,” she said.


The trip is open to the public and costs $225. Seats are still available. The group will depart from the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, on Aug. 27 and return Aug. 29.

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