Valley man reflects on Washington march 50 years later - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Valley man reflects on Washington march 50 years later

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Dr. Saunders was a student at Howard University. Dr. Saunders was a student at Howard University.

Dr. Emmanuel Saunders remembers exactly where he was on August 28, 1963.

"I couldn't miss the opportunity to hear in person and of course there were thousands and thousands of people," he said. 

In 1963, Saunders was a college student at Howard University. He said the anticipation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit had been building up for weeks. As he looked back on that day 50 years ago, he said he can say that he was a part of history.

"I felt very much aware of the fact that I was present," he said.   

Saunders said the mood was very emotional for the march on Washington.  

"People were clapping, some crying," he said. "It was something to behold. The thing is there were many, many whites who joined forces with blacks. In fact, we might not have achieved what we did had it not been for many whites." 

Saunders thinks Dr. King would be proud of the changes that have taken place in the time since, but he said it's not over.

"We have come a long way, especially in the South and throughout the country," Saunders said. "There is no question we have made progress, but there is still a lot of work to be done.  We can't give up the fight."

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