Hundreds March In Richmond To Commemorate, Raise Awareness

September 20, 2013

Online Story by Whitney Torres
Video Story by Emily Satchell
VCU InSight

RICHMOND Va. — Richmond residents commemorated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington with their own march this year.

Nearly 150 people showed up on Aug. 31 for the March on Richmond for Jobs and Freedom, organized by the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Urban League of Greater Richmond, Living the Dream, Inc. and the NAACP.

Nathaniel Lewis, a member of the NAACP’s Economic Development Committee, said that the purpose of the march was to memorialize the March on Washington, but also to raise awareness of current issues of equality.

“This event is to commemorate that march and to also raise the awareness of still having those same issues dealing with jobs, incarceration and the equal rights of everyone to these jobs,” Lewis said.

According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, many Virginians remain divided on whether the ideals of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech have been achieved. The poll stated that 44% of Virginians believe they are still judged by the color of their skin today.

“I think there is always some injustice and where there is any injustice there’s too much injustice,” said John Walker, a supporter who attended the March on Richmond.

Still, Walker remains hopeful that Martin Luther King’s goal from 50 years ago can be achieved. “In this world today, it’s easy to stay connected so it should be easier today than it was for Dr. King,” he said.

For most of the march attendees, the fight for equality did not end with the March on Richmond.

“The job after this is to do,” said Lewis. “To do means to continue to go to these places where we need to, continue to meet with the mayor, continue the raises, because it’s bigger than just a march.”