Newport News community rallies on 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington speech

Newport News March on Washington anniversary rally (August 28) 2.jpg
Newport News March on Washington anniversary rally (August 28).jpg
Posted at 9:18 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 23:28:10-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Together, the Newport News community gathered in front of City Hall to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream.

A dream where people won’t be judged by color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

"We are all Americans and we can all live the American dream,” said Pastor Tremayne Johnson of Zion Baptist Church.

Fifty-seven years ago Friday, Dr. King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. Organizers of the rally say even though they weren’t at the nation’s Capitol, they were on Washington Avenue in Newport News keeping that same dream alive.

"That dream cannot be a dream from 57 years ago. It has to be one we embrace in our hearts today,” said Newport News City Council member Dave Jenkins.

Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, council members and faith leaders were just a few of the speakers at Friday's rally.

In the crowd, people from different backgrounds were fighting against racism and injustice.

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said a few words.

"We will treat everyone the same regardless of their skin color, their age, ZIP code or income."

He also addressed his passion for the youth in community.

“You matter to me. I love you guys, and what we do sets a tone for things to follow,” said Chief Drew.

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The Christopher Newport University NAACP chapter president also shared what it's like growing up in America today.

"I have watched countless people die because of their skin color, and I'm only 22,” said Blakely Lockhart.

She also shared a personal experience.

"I've grown up in a time where people have questioned my skin color because Heaven forbid a Black man and Black woman have a child together,” Lockhart adds.

To continue Dr. King's dream, they say it starts in your own neighborhood.

The community is asking the city to rename a street named after a Confederate general and slaveowner.

"We want you to rename and remove the name of Wickam Avenue,” said Andrew Shannon.

Leaders say change is in the hands of young activists.

"The movement is far from over,” adds Lockhart.

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