In their words: Marching with Dr. King–and 50 years later


A group of people who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1963 March on Washington returned Wednesday, exactly 50 years later, to mark the occasion. Wearing sashes that showed they had marched in 1963, Marie Davenport, Leo Boughton, and Sid Levin walked down the streets of D.C. with the group along with hundreds of supporters.

“We were energized, enthusiastic, hopeful and determined,” said 70-year-old Leo Boughton. “It put Dr. King in the forefront of the civil rights movement, and his leadership helped to galvanized people all over the country.”

Marie Davenport, another veteran marcher, said, “Dr. King’s speech was very important because it gave all Americans, and particular white people, hope. This was a man who had been to jail, this was a man who had stood up against the fire hoses, the dogs and he decided that he was going to stand up against that, and fight for freedom.”

Winnie Westbrook, 67, spoke of the importance of the march: “Now I can understand the importance of what my mom and dad saw when they put me on the bus at 17. I can see the importance now of having my grandchildren and my son-in-law march with me,” she said. “That’s a generation that will bring another generation with them when they get to be my age.”

In their words: Marching with Dr. King--and 50 years later