WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands are expected to take part in upcoming events on the National Mall to commemorate the March on Washington and the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, there are high expectations for the remembrance, which begins Saturday with a march led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III.
Layla Doman from D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood will join the throng of activists, visitors and locals expected to participate in or observe the events.
“It’s a celebration of something that’s true for every African-American and everyone that considers human rights important, so yeah, I’ll be here,” Doman says.
Richard Barbee of Alexandria, Va., says being at the memorial brings specific issues to the forefront of his mind.
“Racial profiling, racial economics, things of that nature … Maybe if we come back and listen to the speech all over again, we’ll have a better idea of what we’re supposed to move forward and do,” Barbee says.
Phyllis Cresley of Huntersville, N.C., brought her 14-year-old niece to see the MLK memorial. They also will march.
Cresley was one of the children who integrated schools in La Plata, Md., in 1957, she says.
“A woman had to drive me to school in the morning and pick me up in the evening until my mother and several people in the NAACP met with the governor that same year and demanded that the schools integrate the buses,” Cresley says.