St. Margaret’s parishioner Carolyn Eaves attended the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Here are her reflections on that time—and on why she’s planning on joining in the 50th anniversary march and rally this Saturday, Aug. 24.
“Fifty years ago this month, I was
an African-American young lady of 16 years old boarding a bus at my home church
in Henrico County, Virginia, (located near Richmond International Airport) to
go to Washington, D.C., to let the world know that I was marching for the right
to eat at any place, go to school in my community, to ride the public bus and
sit any place on it as an American. I went to school on a bus 32 miles one way,
64 miles a day, to get to the only “Black” school in the county. I passed two
Black high schools in the city and several schools in the county every day and
my mother and her sibling did the same thing from first grade to the 12th.
“I have marched and done sit-ins to be able to just be a real person and feel like the country I was born in wanted its citizens to be equal--but are we? We still have a long way to go. Yes today same sex couples can get married, but not in the whole of the USA. The color of one’s skin is still sometimes used against a person when looking for work. When I was a kid, a young white man and a black woman were in love and got married, but they went through hell just to be together in the state of Virginia. We have so many things to still fight for, for all citizens to be equal and live in a just society. Today most people take things as a right, but we had to and must still march and fight to make our society a just one.
“A footnote: I had a real leather tan hand bag with me [at the March in 1963], and I still know exactly where I stood that day. I am sure I have that hand bag packed away somewhere!”
This Saturday, Aug. 24 will be a rally at the Lincoln Memorial beginning at 8 a.m., followed by a march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. More information at nationalactionnetwork.net/mow
The Washington National Cathedral has announced plans to commemorate the anniversary of the March.
The Root has a guide to the many events Aug. 21-28 in honor of the 50th anniversary.
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