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Hundreds gather at Leimert Park to remember March on Washington

August 24, 2013|By Carla Rivera

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday in Leimert Park to hear speeches and witness reenactments commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The events began about 9 a.m. with a march along Martin Luther King Jr. and Crenshaw boulevards to Leimert Park Plaza, near 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard in the historic center of the city’s black cultural arts district.

A rally in the plaza featured actor Keith David portraying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering the famous "I Have a Dream" speech. City Controller Ron Galperin portrayed Joachim Prinz, a German-American rabbi and civil rights activist who spoke just before King at the 1963 march.

Los Angeles performer Marva Smith portrayed legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, whose spiritual from the podium ignited the 1963 crowd.

Other reenactment figures included labor leader Walter Reuther and civil rights activist Daisy Bates.

Speakers at the daylong event included Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, California Assembly Speaker John Perez and Maria Elena Durazo of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

The event was sponsored by the Southern Christian Leadership Council of Southern California, the Los Angeles branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other civil rights and labor groups.

Organizers planned other events to educate the public on voting, education, jobs and health issues. Activities include an Aug. 26 Brotherhood Day concert by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of L.A. at Walt Disney Concert Hall and a tribute Aug. 28 hosted by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) at El Camino College Compton Center.


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