Students relive March on Washington
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 00:08
Wednesday night in Rudder Plaza, students went back in time to experience the March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom as it happened 50 years ago.
The MSC Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee, or WBAC, marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington with musical performances and artistic re-enactments of speeches delivered at the March on Washington in 1963.
Yunina Barbour-Payne, graduate performance studies major, performed the part of an older women reminiscing on the days she spent with civil right’s movement and at the March on Washington.
Barbour-Payne said her artistic goal was to truly convey the emotions of a character looking back at her time participating in the March. After the show, Barbour-Payne said she was glad to have this opportunity to use her talents to share the past.
“For me as an artist and an educator, this was an opportunity to continue to educate, bring awareness and spark the flame of freedom in others,” Barbour-Payne said.
Janae Williams, senior nutritional sciences major and social director for WBAC, said
the inspiration for the re-enactment was to really let students experience how it felt to be a part of the March.
“This allowed students on campus to relive what happened 50 years ago,” Williams said.
Martin Caesar, a graduate of Texas A&M and former WBAC Chair, delivered Dr. Martin Luther King’s legendary ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
Caesar said he was nervous beforehand to be delivering one of the most famous speeches in our history and that in process of preparing for the performance, he developed a deeper understanding of what the words meant
Caesar said he found Dr. King’s words still have meaning today for students on campus.
“I became very familiar and personal with the speech, and then realized that there is not much difference between now and then,” Caesar said.
Terrell Feathers, junior theatre arts major and member of WBAC, delivered the speech given by John Lewis at the March on Washington. Feathers said that giving this speech meant so much to him because the March on Washington is such an important event in American history.
Feathers said WBAC wanted to make the event special because of the significance of this year for American and Texas A&M history.
“We realized that this would be the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and also the desegregation of Texas A&M and allowing women on campus,” he said. “We wanted to be able to put on an event that would remind people of our history, how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.”
Lexi Mitchell, sophomore visualization major, attended the program and said it was a different experience listening to the speech in person.
“When you are reliving it, it really hits you,” Mitchell said.
Wednesday’s program marked the highlight of WBAC’s week of commemoration, which brought notice to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and first time African-Americans and women were enrolled at Texas A&M.