Rhode Islanders celebrate the 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

By: Chelsea Priest


This week marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. August 28th, 1963 was the day Martin Luther King delivered his 'I have a dream' speech in front of hundreds of thousands of people.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in D.C. for the occasion, a group of 50 of the thousands were from Rhode Island. Jim Vincent, President of the Providence NAACP organized the bus trip Saturday. He wasn't old enough to be there in 1963. “I wasn't there then so the fact that I could be part of such a historic moment was all that I wanted, and I was so, so, excited.”

There were three common topics at the commemoration, jobs, justice, and freedom. Even 50 years later, Vincent says there is still work to be done. “The unemployment rate in 1963 in terms of blacks vs whites, it was double. Fast forward to 2013 it's still double! Nothing has changed in 50 years.”

But among the discussions of change, Vincent was also there to give thanks, “I stand on the shoulders of greatness, people that have fought, bled, and died so that I would have an equal opportunity to make it in society and it's a debt that I want to repay.”

(C) WLNE 2013