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CHICAGO (CBS) – A veteran of Chicago’s civil rights movement said Wednesay’s commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington highlights how far African Americans have come in this country, and how far they still have to go.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, in 1963, historian and educator Timuel Black was president of the Chicago chapter of the Negro American Labor Council, and a leading organizer of the city’s part in the March on Washington.
At the time, he didn’t realize it would become a historic turning point in the civil rights movement.
“I didn’t think in terms of importance, I just felt that I had to be there to help make it a success,” Black said. “And my view was that if it was success, it would help to make opportunities more available to more people.”
Black said the march most helped those who were prepared to make progress, but many of the less fortunate still got left behind.
He said the dream Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about in his famous address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is still a goal for the nation.
“The message of the march, and the speeches given that day [was] that we need better education for all young people – quality education to prepare them in this more complicated world,” he said.
Black visited the White House this week to meet with President Barack Obama, living proof of how much progress has been made, as the nation’s first African American president.