Vol. 8    No. 17
AUGUST 22, 2013

The Capital City Hues
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White

Webmaster:
Heidi M. Pascual
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                            Still dreaming after 50
I can’t say what I was doing on August 28, 1963, the day the March on Washington occurred on the National
Mall and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech from the top steps of the
Lincoln Memorial looking out on hundreds of thousands of people surrounding the Reflecting Pool and
stretching toward the Washington Monument. I was probably riding my bike aimlessly and thoughtlessly
around the Milwaukee suburb where I was born. It would be a couple of years before I would begin to
become aware of things beyond me mere existence.

But these events forever changed the world that I lived in no matter how remote they may have been like
the earthquake that hits a far off land, but sends a tsunami washing against your shores hours later. The
March on Washington — the hundreds of thousands of people from many walks of life — was that
earthquake that would jolt the foundations of a segregationist system that had already experienced some
cracks with the Brown versus Board of Education decision in 1954.

And the March on Washington — and Dr. King’s seminal speech that expressed the soul force of the civil
rights movement for the entire world to hear — caused a tsunami of events to occur and legislation to be
passed that inundated and swept away the legal structure of America’s apartheid system. By the end of
1965, we had the Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Laws and the Civil Rights Act. It makes my head swim to
think about how short of a period of time it was that so many historic events occurred. Now over the
course of many years, Congress can hardly pass an immigration reform bill.

It would be seven years before I became involved in civil rights through vacation trips down to rural
Mississippi where I worked in Head Start during the day or put in running water in homes during the day
and listened to the tales of the civil rights movement at night.

The March on Washington and Dr. King’s speech were the galvanizing force, ground zero of that civil rights
tsunami that would sweep over America. But it was those hundreds of thousands of people from every
hamlet and city across America who were that giant wave, fighting for and winning civil rights from
backwaters like Blackhawk, Mississippi to Madison, Wisconsin.

When I worked on the campaign of an independent Black candidate for Congress back in 1978, we went
and campaigned in areas of Mississippi still ruled by the Ku Klux Klan. And the relationship between
whites and Blacks in those areas taught me that the civil rights tsunami didn’t wash over every place in
America. Some places remained unchanged because the Movement didn’t gel there because of fierce
racist resistance. It was a stark reminder that much needed to be done for Dr. King’s Dream to become a
reality in every hamlet and city in America.

Ten years ago, Heidi Pascual and I flew out to Washington, D.C. for the day on August 28, 2003 to sit at the
Lincoln Memorial on the spot where Dr. King gave his speech and looked out over the multitude. President
Obama had that same experience when he looked out on the almost one million people who attended the
We Are One Concert held at the Lincoln Memorial two days before he was sworn in as president for the
first time. While the 40th anniversary march had occurred days earlier on a Saturday, it was a spiritual
moment to sit there and reflect on Dr. King and the March on Washington during the time 40 years later
when he gave the speech.

And I took the photo of a young African American boy who was standing on the spot where Dr. King gave
his speech, hands clenched in victory. It symbolized for me that yes we had accomplished something so
that many very talented African Americans and other people of color can pursue life, liberty and happiness
very successfully in life. But for many within the masses of the African American community, victory has
yet to be won and the quality of their lives has been declining for years. Much work still needs to be done.
I won’t be headed to Washington, D.C. to sit at the Lincoln Memorial next Wednesday on August 28, 2013.
The newspaper business has been very financially lean the past few years and I already blew my wad for
the year covering President Obama’s inauguration. But I will be able to commemorate it here in Madison by
attending two events.

The first event is being hosted by Kujichagulia – MCSD, which I am an officer for. This event will be held
on Wednesday August 28 at 3 p.m. in front of Dr. King’s statue on the 300 Block of Martin Luther King Jr.
Blvd. We will have singing by Toya Robinson, Rev. Harold Rayford on saxophone and a performance by
Rev. Colier McNair. We will play Dr. King’s actual Dream speech and Rev. Everett Mitchell, who is a
masterful orator himself, will give the Challenge presented by Dr, King’s speech. Come out if you can get
away for a little bit more than an hour to commemorate the speech.

The city of Madison is also hosting a 50th Commemoration of not only the March on Washington, but also
other events that occurred during that historic year. That will be held on Friday, August 30th at 11:30 a.m.
beginning at 11:30 a.m. in front of Dr. King’s statue with a performance by UW’s First Wave. Details about
both of these events can be found in this issue’s Happenings section.

Come out an celebrate these events and recharge your spiritual and civil rights batteries. There is much
work yet to be done. And the work will only get done if we do it together. Become part of the Movement!
A New Beginning
Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham Leads
Madison’s Public Schools into a New Era
BACK TO SCHOOL
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