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A first-person account of an historic gathering

by Dr. John E. Warren | Publisher San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper

Sixty years ago, the Publisher of this newspaper was one of the 250,000-plus people who marched on Washington, D.C.. The gathering was not just to “hear” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but to “join” him in the demand that America make good the “insufficient fund check" it had given to Black America in particular and all America in general.

We came from across this great nation, some walking, some by train, some by bus, some by car and some by horse and wagon, to collectively demonstrate our commitment to the truth that “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these were the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. But none of that was possible without the equality guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

While the last 60 years have given us many gains including a Black man as President of the United States, the same forces that opposed us 60 years ago are still present. They never went away. They just changed clothes. They still kill us under the guise of law enforcement, executing us under the color of law without trial.

The big difference between 60 years ago and today is that we are not as actively committed to the idea that Dr. King stated that day when he said “Injustice against anyone is injustice against all of us”.  When I say we are not as committed, I am not talking about just marching, and the journey that it took so many years ago just to be in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 26, 1963, because, if we were, with today's travel conveniences, airplanes, hotels, credit cards and rental cars, more than 250,000 of us could have easily been in Washington, D.C. last Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023.

I am speaking of the kind of commitment that leads to and includes personal sacrifice for the good of the collective.

Yes, 60 years later, it is time to stop singing we shall overcome. It is time to overcome with the actions of planning, voting, getting involved, and supporting everything that a racist conservative element in this country is rising up against, from voting suppression, the abolition of African Studies and the banning of books, to the rewrite of history declaring that slavery was beneficial to its victims.

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