N.O community commemorates 50th anniversary of March on Washington

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 24, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 24 at 11:21 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- In New Orleans people gathered around the Martin Luther King Jr. monument to mark the 50th anniversary of the historical moment when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech.

While thousands of people marched down the National Mall on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary, a small crowd gathered in New Orleans.

"Make no mistake about it, we still got some work to do," said Dr. Derek King, the nephew of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Derek King traveled to New Orleans to celebrate the iconic speech his uncle gave 50 years ago.

"There are some things that you shouldn't forget and there are some things you shouldn't let other people forget," said King Saturday.

Among those who will never forget, Glenn Green, who at just 16 years old became apart of history.

"A couple of gym teachers got a bunch of the kids together and we got on the old, raggedy bus and we ventured to Washington, D.C. for the March on Washington," said Green.

He would be among the 250,000 people who listened that summer day in 1963 as Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave his fabled speech.

"Now that I am older and in my 60s, I think about it now," said Green. "The profound affect that it had on me."

Green says it was that speech that inspired him. He now serves as a councilman for the City of Westwego and is currently the President of the Louisiana Municipal Black Caucus.

"That has meant a lot to me in my life," said Green. "I came up in the Ninth Ward in an undesired project area and like I tell people, I wasn't suppose to make it. I had one foot in a jail cell and the other on a banana peel."

Green credits his many accomplishments to the efforts of all those who fought for equality.

"I would not have been able to do any of these things had it not been for what doctor king started all those years ago," said Green.

Though progress has been made, many say the work is far from finished.

In honor of the anniversary, Dr. Derek King is continuing his uncle's work, "We have not yet realized Dr. King's noble, American dream."

Now, he is calling on the next generation to be the change that makes this dream a reality.

President Obama will speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, the day of the anniversary. Church bells are also set to ring at 3 p.m. to mark the exact moment King gave his speech.

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