50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

By Jovana Saric (Serbia), Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

Jovana (left) and her friend from Brazil were the only two international students in the Lincoln University delegation
Jovana (left) and her friend from Brazil were the only two international students in the Lincoln University delegation

As a student of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, which is the first degree-granting historically black university in the USA, I had a great opportunity to be part of the one of the greatest demonstrations which has ever happened in this country.  The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington was a demonstration for freedom, rights, peace, and life of the African American people.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place on August 28th fifty years ago and it is remembered for the famous speech ‘’I Have a Dream’’ by Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial. As we all know, the main point of speech was a call against racism in the United States.

It was a wonderful coincidence to be part of a group of people who represented Lincoln University at the 50th Anniversary of the March demonstration, a great event for all African Americans.  Although I did not have much information about this trip, I decided to join it because of a simple reason – to experience something new.

Our Lincoln bus, before going to MarchI can say that I was lucky that day, because I got a spot on the already full Lincoln University bus. The seats on the bus were reserved for students who are members of the Student Government or are very successful in some sport or activity on campus.

We arrived in Washington, DC really early in the morning to meet students from other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). After a long walk through Washington, DC, we finally arrived at the place where the March started fifty years ago, in front of the Washington Monument.

First, I was impressed by the number of people of all ages who came from all over the USA to be part of the event.  Besides African Americans, there were also White Americans who came with the same goal to emphasize issues of employment, equal rights, and affordable higher education.

My friends and I during the little breakA lot of people came to commemorate this great event in history of the USA.  I was really proud to represent my university, wearing the Lincoln T-shirt and singing the Lincoln anthem.

Flag Licoln Lions and our start pointThis experience helped me gain a different view.  I could feel how the people who gathered on the National Mall that day were proud of having gone though a lot of struggles for freedom and equal rights. In that moment, I felt as part of their history.

My participation in the March was a first step in learning and also understanding the African American community, their culture and history, feelings and opinions. Although I do not have a lot of pictures, I have a lot of memories, which I am always glad to share with others.

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