Mpls. march to honor March on Washington 50th anniv.

8:58 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior gave his "I Have a Dream Speech" during the March on Washington at the National Mall, people from across the globe and here in Minnesota  will gather to celebrate the anniversary of one of the greatest moments in civil rights history.

Community leaders are organizing a Minneapolis march on Saturday.

"Fifty years later, we are still suffering the same way," said Spike Moss, who attended the march when he was just 18-years-old.

"We were young people with no jobs at all, and we were silly enough to think that march was going to make a difference so we caravanned our way there," he said.

He says despite decades of civil right work, America is marching backwards.

"We have gone back 40 years. Now there has to be a new movement to take it back to where we left it. There has to be a new movement right now to change what is happening to people of color in America," said Moss.

Moss says persistent struggles of racism, unemployment and poverty make the country ripe for rebellion once again.

"It meant something to us. It wasn't just news. It was deep. It was hurtful, but it was history," said Harry Davis, Jr.  "At 67-years-old, I've seen it all."

Harry Davis' family was instrumental in the Minneapolis civil rights movement. His father, Harry Davis, Sr. was the first black mayoral candidate and first black school board member in Minneapolis. The Davis family goes back six generations in Minnesota.

Today, Davis, Jr. is a founder of the Minnesota African American Museum, which will soon open its doors, documenting some of those struggles here in Minnesota.

"We have made wonderful progress in things that are inherently right for you as a citizen of the United States. We have made limited progress on breaking down social barriers that cause other people to have conflict," said Davis.

Next week, Moss says he will march in Washington once again, believing he still must step forward in search of that dream.

"I'm a freedom fighter. I'm fighting for the basic rights of my people," said Moss. "White America has practiced and taught and nurtured racism for so long, when is enough, enough?"

In the spirit of the original march, the Minneapolis Urban League has organized a local march on Saturday.

Two groups from different sides of the city will march to the corner of Plymouth and Penn for a rally that starts at 12:45 p.m. One group begins marching from the Cub Foods parking lot at 701 Broadway, and another from the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers at 67 8th Avenue Northeast.

The rally at the Minneapolis Urban League will include speeches, food, music and children's book giveaways.

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