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Commemoration of March on Washington Continues in Miss.

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 28 Aug 2013 08:24am | comments

Mississippians are marking the 50th anniversary of the historic march on Washington D.C. that represented the height of fight for the civil rights for African-Americans.  But, Mississippi civil rights veterans who attended the march say the country still has a lot of work to do.

 A Jackson state performance group leads a crowd in song at a Jackson event in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historic march on Washington.

 In the group last night were veterans of Mississippi's civil rights movement who attended what would become one of the most important protests in American history.

 Euvester Simpson made the trip to Washington despite being arrested earlier in the summer protesting segregated waiting rooms.

 "Because I wanted to have a better life for myself and for my parents as well. And I know that if we didn't stand up to this tyranny and terrorism and all the muders and everything things were not going to change," Simpson said.

 However, Simpson and other civil rights veterans in the crowd believe the country still has a lot of work to do to achieve Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's dream for racial equality.

 Reverand Willie Blue, who sat just three rows from the stage 50 years ago, says African-Americans have equality in law but have not seen the social and economic opportunities come along with it.

 "Just look at the economics. We have been flat lined as a people since 1965 up until now. Everything is going up except wages for poor uneducated people," Blue said.

 Some young children and teenagers were also in the crowd.

 Chasta Merchant brought her 5-year old daughter to educate her about civil rights history.

 Still, she worries that the racism of the 1960's still exists but is just more hidden than whites only bathrooms and drinking fountains.

 "Like at restaurants I have seen blacks in the kitchen but you don't have any black waitresses or any black receptionist but you have the blacks in the kitchen cooking. That is what they did back then and it is still there now," Merchant said.

 Civil rights advocacy groups will mark the anniversary again tonight with a vigil on the south steps of the capitol building in Jackson.











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