Charles Evers reflects on March on Washington experience - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Charles Evers reflects on March on Washington experience

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Evers was right behind King when he spoke those now-famous words -- "I have a dream." Evers was right behind King when he spoke those now-famous words -- "I have a dream."
Within that crowd of thousands who marched on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 50 years ago, was Mississippian Charles Evers. Within that crowd of thousands who marched on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 50 years ago, was Mississippian Charles Evers.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Within that crowd of thousands who marched on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 50 years ago, was Mississippian Charles Evers. Evers is the brother of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers.

"We had no idea how many people would be there. And we saw those thousands of people there. And it was just unbelievable," explained Evers.

Evers called Dr. King a friend, and said King was their leader in the movement and he made sure he was close by at all times.

Aug. 28, 1963 was no exception. Evers walked near the front of the crowd with King.

"He said, 'Charley, good God almighty. Where'd all these folks come from,'" described Evers.

Evers was right behind King when he spoke those now-famous words -- "I have a dream."

"We hear the speech almost over and over again. So that particular day, the speech was the old speech, plus. And it just astounded all of us," Evers said.

It was a call to action unlike Evers and others had heard before, but with historical perspective, he worries that while the message spurred national change at that time, it may not have echoed far enough.

"It's simple. Did we follow through and take advantage of the reason why we were marching 50 years ago," Evers said.

Gov. Phil Bryant was only nine at the time of the march, but looking back, he thinks we have made great strides.

"I hope that Dr. Martin Luther King's dream has come true in Mississippi. I believe we have social and economic justice for all races in the state of Mississippi. There will always be problems we can't deny those exist," explained Bryant.

It's those problems that Evers hopes fade more as the years pass.

"There's been one heck of a price paid for us to be where we are today. And we got to learn to take advantage of it. Education, respect, dignity," said Evers.

Evers chose not to attend the anniversary events. He says he would rather look ahead to the future than look back to the past and march on something that happened 50 years ago.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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