On August 28th in 1963, the March for Freedom and Jobs brought hundreds of thousands of people to the nation’s capitol to demand civil and economic rights for African Americans.
At the march, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Denver film maker Davon Johnson pays tribute to the people who participated in that 1963 peaceful protest through his film that features jazz musicians Dexter Payne and Cornelius Duncan.
Cornelius Duncan was still in school in 1963, in Newark New Jersey, but despite his young age, he was very aware of the political situation. “It was very tense because of the violence…black on black crime, white on black crime and crime itself. I felt a lot of it and I just wanted to get out of that city and that was a goal. I was only in Junior High School and I had said to myself “well I”m going to go to school as long as I can to get out of this situation.” I wanted to move out west, I thought about Texas, I thought about Seattle, those two places and I ended up in Seattle. ”
Johnson says that his film has a message that peace is the way forward. He would like to see the film shown in schools and describes it as a peaceful educational film.
“My work of late has been designed on the humanities and encouraging people to get along and just have a better body of understanding that we are different but we can make it in this world. ”
The March for Freedom 1963 will have its television premier this Friday August 18th at 7.30pm on Rocky Mountain PBS, Channel 6. In 2015 it was recognized by The International Festival “A Film for Peace” in Italy.