As Theresa Jones walked in the middle of a crowd of about 200 people marching from Anacostia to the Mall yesterday, her feet started hurting. But she refused to ride in a car that was trailing the marchers.
"I don't know if I'm going to walk all the way but I know I'm going to walk until I drop," said the Southeast resident and mother of seven children. "We're in the same condition that we were in 20 years ago."
The parade of local marchers was led by a junior high school band and the Ballou Senior High School drummers and cheerleaders. Out in front was drum major Laray Day, 16, who attends Ballou. "I'm here to keep everybody in step," she said. "Martin Luther King Jr. was a drum major for justice. That was a big role. I'm trying to do what he did."
Ron Williams, 32, served as a marshal, and he urged the crowd to sing louder. He grew up in Northwest in the 14th Street area and now lives in Southeast Washington. He said: "The dream is equality. I think the dream lives on and it lives in us. I feel that the 1963 march is being relived. We ought to sit down in this country at the table of brotherhood and see no color.
"In Southeast we are the forgotten city," Williams continued. "There's a stigma on us of not voting and of being apathetic to the issues that surround us. But today we are letting everyone know that Ward 8 is alive and that we are behind the dream of Martin Luther King Jr."