(CBS) – Fifty years ago, civil rights protesters marched with Dr. Martin Luther King to Marquette Park on the Southwest Side. Angry crowds pelted them with bottles and rocks.
Now, a new memorial marks the impact the march had on history and the people who lived through it.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres reports.
It’s a sculpture made out of clay and made up of troublesome moments in Chicago’s history.
Jim Capraro, who was 16 on Aug. 5, 1966, vividly remembers the angry crowds.
“I saw men in khaki uniforms with swastikas on their arms, chanting ‘White power,’” he says.
During the march someone threw a rock at Dr. King as he led hundreds of marchers, demanding fair and equal housing.
“That night I saw Dr. King on the news,” says Capraro. “He had said that that day he had witnessed hostility worse than he had ever witnessed. He had witnessed hatred. And I just thought, ‘That’s in my neighborhood.’”
“It gave me focus, it gave me purpose. I became a not-for-profit organization director in this neighborhood, and I stayed here 35 years working for justice,” he adds.
That journey to justice is the exact motivation for the sculpture.
The memorial took two years to finalize but will forever serve as a reminder of Dr. King’s legacy.
“I’m very proud, and this is an enormous accomplishment for the community and for me personally,” artist Sonja Henderson says.
Chicagoans will continue to commemorate this moment in history Saturday, by retracing a half-mile portion of King’s 1966 march.