WUFT News

‘Still Not Free': Gainesville Minority Groups Look Back, Forward On March On Washington

By on August 26th, 2013
Gainesville residents join in prayer Saturday after marching to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gardens in downtown Gainesville.

Morgan Falcon / WUFT News

Gainesville residents join in prayer Saturday after marching to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gardens in downtown Gainesville.

Gainesville youth commemorated this week’s 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963, but many on Saturday said more civil rights progress needs to be made.

Community members young and old met at Gainesville City Hall Saturday to commemorate the march. The morning began with a presentation of the original and an updated version of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The updated version was written by Jamaal Hill, a member of the University of Florida Black Student Union; it gave a chance for young adults to speak about how the country still needs change 50 years after hundreds of thousands gathered in Washington.

“This momentous address served to invoke inspiration to millions of minorities who have been seared in the flames of withering injustice,” said Julian Kinsey of the African-American Accountability Alliance. “It appeared to be a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their struggle. But fifty years later, the minority American is still not free.”

Community leaders took turns reading portions of Dr. King’s famous speech. The Stonewall Democrats and Hispanic Student Association speakers gave examples of how they continue to feel discrimination by talking about Trayvon Martin and the “stand your ground” law.

UF Lambda Theta Alpha Latin sorority member Alba Avila explained how all minorities deserve the chance to speak out about what they consider prejudice today.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to get the experience that we never got in 1963,” she said. “(The updated) version of the speech, was absolutely incredible. It really touched on our generation in the fact that it had a lot to do with our college and university — stuff that pertains to us.”

Nicholas Carre of the Gator Chapter of the NAACP said remembering the event will help this generation continue to move forward.

“We have to look back and see what our grandfathers and forefathers did for this country in terms of civil rights and rights for all colored people,” Carre said. “And we have to look forward, moving forward, because today is a new day.”

The morning closed with a march to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gardens, where hands were joined in prayer. Another commemorative program will take place in honor of the 1963 march on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the same downtown location.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Park visitors enjoy a day in the crystal clear waters at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Guests can enjoy tubing from the north entrance beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

Ichetucknee Springs Reopens Entrance for Memorial Day

Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.


Deputy County Manager Betty Baker speaks to the Gainesville City Commission on the need for regulations at the homeless camp Dignity Village. Thursday, commissioners approved to spend up to $50,000 to secure an emergency contract with a non-profit provider.

City Commission Grants Gainesville Management Of Dignity Village

Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.


Gina Eaton (left), a 34-year-old graduate student at UF, and Heather Petroccia, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student at UF, clean out buckets to prepare them to mix grout for the tiles.

Habitat For Humanity Build Programs Empower Women

National Women Build Week was May 2-10. Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build participated in the weeklong event.


GPD

Gainesville Police Department Recruiting Video Raises Concern

A Gainesville Police Department recruitment video has raised concerns over how it portrays how the police interact with the community. The video included scenes of police officers making arrests, chasing suspects and weapons training.


Lisa Lee Savage has experienced substance abuse and served time in prison. With help from local homeless shelter GRACE Marketplace, though, she overcame those challenges to make a new life for herself. Photo courtesy of Lisa Lee Savage

Saving Grace: One Woman’s Story Of Overcoming Adversity

Lisa Lee Savage was a substance abuser and she broke the rules, but she also overcame adversity. Now, she works as an administrative assistant and receptionist at the GRACE Welcome Center.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments