MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Tens of thousands of people descended on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 1963 and made history.
On Saturday, thousands marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington – considered one of the largest rallies ever held for human rights.
In the Twin Cities, hundreds of people turned out for marches in north, northeast, and south Minneapolis to mark the historic day.
Pastor Richard Howell of Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis lead a group of about 150 people in prayer before the march began.
“This is a great day for our country as we return to 50 years ago where it all began,” Howell said.
People of all races, ages and from diverse communities walked together. Some came to celebrate progress, while others used signs to voice their concern over jobs, equality and violence.
Sandy Washington lives in Brooklyn Center, but she was born in Vicksburg, Miss. She came out to remember and reflect.
“Being born in ‘61 in the south, it brings back a lot of memories and things that we fought for, and where we are and where we need to be headed,” Washington said. “The first year I went to school, they had just integrated in ’66 and there were only four African Americans my entire school – and I was one of those four.”
She brought her young granddaughters, Anyla and Destiny, so they could see what it’s like to be part of a march. Washington also wants them to understand the sacrifices made by civil rights leaders.
“For them to appreciate the people who lost their lives, and people who are committed back in the 50s and 60s, and what they were fighting for,” she said.
Washington says that while the country has made progress, there is still progress to be made.
“I think we need to strive for some of the same things: better housing, better jobs, better relationships – the whole nine yards,” she said.
The official anniversary of the March on Washington is this Wednesday.