Thomasville commemorates the March on Washington

Citadel of Faith sets re-enactment Sunday
Aug. 23, 2013 @ 12:10 PM

Wednesday will mark the 50th anniversary of what is known to many as the most significant event in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Tomorrow, the city of Thomasville will come together to celebrate five decades of evolution since the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which helped to bring legal segregation to an end.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, a short march from the Citadel of Faith Christian Fellowship to the Pace Park Ampitheater will occupy the streets of the Chair City.

"We will commemorate the ones who made that great day possible, as well as the people who were alive locally," said the Rev. Dr. George B. Jackson, pastor of the Citadel of Faith and chairman of the Martin Luther King Social Action Committee. "We want to give people the opportunity to celebrate this great event."

Events scheduled at the ampitheater include gospel music, liturgical dancers, speakers and fellowship. A re-enactment will be conducted — by 12 clergy of varying ethnicities and backgrounds — of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech given on Aug. 28, 1963, before a quarter of a million people who had descended on Washington Mall.

"It's going to look like Dr. King's vision of America," Jackson said. "For those who were alive at that time, it will really bless those who would come."

Speeches from several community leaders, including a keynote address by Jackson, will address several current events that have many concerned over the state of race in America. A voter registration drive will be held. According to Jackson, he wants to avoid controversy by simply trying to get as many people as possible legally to vote.

Since the logistics would not allow for a visit to the nation's capital, Jackson said his vision is to rally as many people as he can to look back on a crucial event in the lives of millions.

"I was alive, but too young to really appreciate it," he said. "My parents watched it via network television. During my childhood, they told me about it, rehearsed it to me and told me what it meant to witness that. It gave my parents — particularly my father — hope that this nation could become something greater.

"The March on Washington was, of course, the launching pad for many civil rights careers. Though I was a small child, it was the inspiration I needed to be a social activist."

For more information, contact the MLK-SAC at 476-7218, email at mlk-sac@carolina.rr.com or visit www.mlksac.com, as well as www.ucsod.com.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.