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

University of Florida President Bernie Machen is doused with ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Machen was nominated to participate in the nationwide campaign by Kéran Billaud, a Ph.D. student at UF.

UF President Participates in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

University of Florida President Bernie Machen participated in the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Monday. Machen nominated all YouTube viewers as well as the president of UF Student Government and the vice president of the UF Division of Student Affairs.


State Buys Land For Florida Greenway

State park managers have said they will be buying or trading land in Marion, Palm Beach, and Jackson counties. This is to fill the gaps of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a recreational outdoor area that spans 110 [...]


The charred remains of a Levy County home are all that remain following a fire that killed two people early Wednesday morning, August 20, 2014. (Virginia Hamrick/WUFT News)

Two People Die in Levy County Home Fire

Local law enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a mobile home fire that occurred in Levy County early Wednesday morning.  Lt. Scott Tummond of Levy County Sheriff’s Office said the Bronson Fire Department responded to calls at [...]


George Young, former owner of Mom's Kitchen, a local soul-food restaurant and gathering place, talks about the memories of the cultural landmark following its demolition.

Residents Collect Memories of Mom’s Kitchen

  Gainesville is saying goodbye to a neighborhood treasure following the demolition of the historic restaurant that served as a soul food and entertainment center for decades. Mom’s Kitchen, which was owned and operated by George Young and his family [...]


Claudia Aguilar, the mother of slain University of Florida student Christian Aguilar, cries with family in the family's private room at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center following the guilty verdict of Pedro Bravo Friday, August 15, 2014.  Bravo was found guilty of first degree murder. (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun/Pool)

Pictures: Pedro Bravo Guilty Verdict


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments