By Aria Brent,
AFRO Staff Writer,
The 60th anniversary of the March on Washington (MOW) is quickly approaching and the Annapolis community has a weekend full of events planned to celebrate the momentous occasion. March reenactments, a church service and a youth program will all take place, along with other celebrations happening throughout the weekend of Aug. 26.
“We will walk through the city of Annapolis down the historic Clay Street, which is a historically Black street,” Rev. Dr. Tamara E. Wilson, former chair of the Commission on African American History and Culture, told the AFRO. “While we’re walking past the Banneker Douglass Museum, there will be a mural that will depict the history of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and then as we get downtown, there will be a youth program that starts at the exact hour that we leave the stadium.”
“The youth program will be highlighting young people from around the state that participated in an art and oral and written contest where they share their thoughts on the March on Washington and its impact on them as young people there,” said Wilson.
The march reenactment program will conclude with a theatrical presentation. Audiences will experience what it would be like to sit down and listen in on a discussion about the march between civil rights legends Gloria Richardson and Dorothy I. Height. Following this will be the beginning of the main program on the city dock.
Leaders from a variety of social institutions will be speaking during the program. This includes a panel discussion about negro women freedom fighters, to be led by Karsonya Wise Whitehead,Ph.D.
“We have speakers from the faith based community speaking on the community and the fight for social justice. We’ll have labor movement speakers and judicial speakers. The president of Morgan State University, David Wilson,Ed.D., will be there speaking on education,” Wilson said.
The commission and the Caucus of African American Leaders started planning for the series of events last September. Several other organizations, such as the Banneker Douglass Museum, the United Black Clergy and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, have also helped plan the weekend. The idea for the celebration was created and overseen by the honorable Carl Snowden and is being used as an opportunity to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and address local issues that are of current concern to the community.
Wilson shared that following the weekend of events she’s hoping that people take what they learned back to their communities and utilize it as they address the ongoing issues they’re facing.
“Together, we can be the dream as we commemorate, educate and activate. We expect that you will leave there ready to be activated and to go back into the community and address those issues that continue to impact our people,” Wilson said.
Emphasizing the importance of not only commemorating but educating ourselves on events such as the March on Washington, Wilson shared just how vital it is that we continue to uphold the legacy of historically Black events.
“I think that we can’t move forward until we really reckon with the past, and truly understand what has occurred. We just can’t forget,” said Wilson. “Unfortunately, many people today are choosing to rewrite history and to say that what happened did not happen.It’s not enough for us to just commemorate it and say, it happened.”
“We have to make sure that we’re educating ourselves, young people, older people and reminding everyone that this is what we’ve had to do in order to get the freedoms that we have.”
The first part of the event will begin on Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Annapolis City Dock. The second part of the celebration will take place on Aug. 27 Fresh Start Church. The program starts at 3p.m. You can register for both days on Eventbrite