by Edith Turner: Special to the Gazette-Journal - Posted on Jan 22, 2014 - 02:16 PM
The Mathews branch of the NAACP sponsored Sunday’s King Day program. Those pictured are, in front from left, Alexis Foster, Stephen Thompson, the Rev. Dr. MarQuita Burton, Lizzette Carter (at podium), Delphia Ferguson and Mary Sampson. Also pictured are members of the Emmaus Male Chorus. Photo by Edith Turner
Speakers reflected on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, the current status of the civil rights movement and its future during a program held on Sunday afternoon at Emmaus Baptist Church, North.
The Mathews branch of the NAACP sponsored the program, with more than 80 people in attendance.
Mary Sampson, who attended both the original March on Washington as well as last year’s 50th anniversary march, spoke about how, as a member of her local NAACP branch, she demonstrated outside the Greyhound/Trailways terminal in Manhattan to protest the unequal and unjust treatment of blacks.
She also recalled how well the 1963 March on Washington had been organized. The bus she was riding left New York’s Westchester County and met with other buses along the route to D.C. to form a large convoy. Upon arriving in Washington, the riders were given instructions on where and what time to meet back with their group to begin the trek to the Lincoln Memorial.
For them, she said, there was not a march to the monument, just the forming of small groups who made their way to the best vantage point possible. In her mind, she said, “we were much closer than we truly were.”
She remembers being most impressed by the various notable civil rights leaders, who were mostly men. To have been there, to have seen the reaction of the crowd and to have heard the affirmation of his every word was thrilling, said Sampson.